Oscar-winning director Milos Forman was welcomed as a star to his native Czech Republic Friday for the opening of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
The filmmaker arrived to applause at a hotel in the western city for the opening ceremony, attended by Czech President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Jan Fischer.
During the festival, the 77-year-old will present the film version of "Well-Paid Stroll", a jazz opera that he directed in Prague's prestigious National Theatre.
Forman fled into exile in 1968 from the former Czechoslovakia, first to France and then to the United States.
He launched a stellar career as a Hollywood director and won Academy Awards for "Best Director" for his 1975 "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and 1984 "Amadeus."
Following the collapse of communism, Forman began to take regular trips to the Czech Republic again to make films or visit friends, including former Czech president Vaclav Havel.
The 44th Karlovy Vary festival will hand out Crystal Globes, a top honour at the event, to French actress Isabelle Huppert and US actor John Malkovich.
Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, who made his debut under director Pedro Almodovar and went on to conquer Hollywood, will receive the President's Prize.
This year, the festival will bring together more than 800 producers, film buyers and sellers, distributors and filmmakers, and its official competition lists 19 world premieres.
Besides the official competition with 14 feature films and 16 documentaries, the festival will feature the "East-West" competition of films shot by young filmmakers from eastern Europe.
The festival is one of the few which is open to the public, and last year attracted 145,000 cinemagoers.
Some of the profits raised this year will be donated to victims of the floods which have been deluging the country for over a week and have killed more than a dozen people.
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