Johnny Depp for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Photo: KVIFF

Johnny Depp stars in trailer for 2023 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Johnny Depp, who was honored at the 2021 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival but didn’t receive one of the festival’s prestigious awards, is the star of the trailer for the 2023 edition of the festival, which premiered on the eve of this year’s KVIFF.

The trailer was seen on the big screen at this year’s Karlovy Vary film fest, but can also be viewed online at the festival’s official online platform KVIFF.TV. In the trailer, Depp pokes fun at himself for not receiving one the festival’s awards, which he has somehow acquired through other means.

Where did Depp get the 2017 Festival President’s Award seen in the trailer? Three actors were given this award in 2017: Uma Thurman, Jeremy Renner, and Casey Affleck. In KVIFF trailer lore, we’re guessing he obtained it from Affleck after the actor failed to sell it to a pawn shop.

“Two years ago, Johnny Depp received an immensely warm welcome from audiences and fans, thanks to which he has become a great supporter of ours,” Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Executive Director Kryštof Mucha says in a press release.

“And so he agreed to film a trailer even though we were limited by his packed schedule. The trailer turned out great, and I am convinced that Johnny Depp will one day return to Vary in person.”

The trailer starring Depp was directed by Ivan Zachariáš and filmed at Budapest’s famed Art Nouveau Hotel Gellért, which was chosen as a convenient stop for the actor while working in Europe. Depp might have been scouting locations for his upcoming biopic of Amedeo Modigliani, which will star Al Pacino and begins shooting in Budapest this fall.

Johnny Depp arrived late as usual, at five in the afternoon instead of two, and right at the start he told me that he would prefer to improvise,” Zachariáš recalls, noting that the shoot took just two-and-half hours.

“I was initially a bit taken aback, but it turned out to be a great idea, since Johnny ended up putting even more of his own personality into the trailer. We had great fun […] When we were done, he still wanted to chat even though a plane was waiting for him.”

At the 55th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2021, Depp personally presented two films that he produced: the documentary Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan and the drama Minamata, in which he also starred as famed photographer W. Eugene Smith.

Ivan Zachariáš and Martin Krejčí have been shooting trailers for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival starring honored guests from previous editions over the past 15 years, often poking fun at the festival’s awards. This year’s trailer starring Johnny Depp made one key change from past editions, being presented in color instead of the traditional black-and-white.


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at

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