- Associated Press - Friday, June 29, 2012

PRAGUE (AP) - The Czech spa town of Karlovy Vary is kicking off its annual international film festival with awards for British actress Helen Mirren and U.S. actress Susan Sarandon

The two international stars will be honored for their outstanding contributions to world cinema.

Over the next week, the 47th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival’s grand jury _ led by American Richard Pena, selection committee chair of the New York Film Festival _ will consider 12 movies for its top prize, the Crystal Globe.

Films competing for the honor include “The Italian Conspiracy” directed by Marco Tullio Giordana, Polish movie “To Kill a Beaver” directed by Jan Jakub Kolski, and Iran’s “The Last Step” directed by Ali Mosaffa.

The festival features more than 200 movies and runs from Friday through July 7.



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