Karlovy Vary festival to award Susan Sarandon
June 18, 2012, 12:05 PM
During the gala closing ceremonies of the 47th Karlovy Vary IFF, American actress Susan Sarandon will accept a Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema.
At the festival, Susan Sarandon will personally present the film Jeff Who Lives At Home.
Sarandon was born into a religious family and her first educational interests were not exclu-sively artistic: at Catholic University in Washington she also studied mathematics and philos-ophy. There she met her first husband, actor Chris Sarandon, who greatly influenced her deci-sion to become an actress. Her first success came with a role in the crime comedy Joe (dir. John G. Avildsen). Following the breakup of her first marriage, the actress’s artistic career took a major turn when she met eminent director Louis Malle. His ability to tap into Sarandon’s acting versatility was reflected in Pretty Baby (1978), the nostalgic story of a prostitute whose daughter decides to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Two years later she picked up her first Academy Award nomination for her role in Malle’s romantic crime flick Atlantic City.
In the mid 1980s she enjoyed another series of interesting parts on her way to becoming a superstar. The comedy The Witches of Eastwick (dir. George Miller) started things off, and two Golden Globe nominations soon followed – for her 1988 role in Bull Durham (dir. Ron Shelton) and for a 1990 part in White Palace (dir. Luis Mandoki). A year later she and Geena Davis were outstanding in Ridley Scott’s action road movie Thelma & Louise, with both ac-tresses receiving Academy Award nominations. This period was rich in Oscar nods – she re-ceived another for her role in George Miller’s drama Lorenzo’s Oil and for playing a defense attorney in the crime picture The Client (dir. Joel Schumacher).
During the shooting of Bull Durham, Susan Sarandon met actor and director Tim Robbins, who went on to become her longtime partner; this multitalented filmmaker finally led her to an Academy Award win. Under Robbins’ direction in Dead Man Walking, Sarandon gave one of her best performances as Sister Helen, a nun who tries to lighten a convicted killer’s path to execution.
In subsequent years Susan Sarandon made numerous movies demonstrating her ease in taking up acting roles in a variety of genres. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Chris Columbus’s Stepmom as the dying ex-wife who decides to reconcile her children with their new mother. With Natalie Portman in Wayne Wang’s Anywhere but Here she plays half of a mother-daughter duo who find it hard to communicate; she costarred with Goldie Hawn in the comedy The Banger Sisters (dir. Bob Dolman); and she plays struggling Orlando Bloom’s mother in Cameron Crowe’s romantic comedy Elizabethtown. For her role in the biopic Bernard and Doris (2006, dir. Bob Balaban) she received another Golden Globe nomination. At the 2009 Karlovy Vary IFF she appeared in director Shana Feste’s The Greatest, costarring with Pierce Brosnan.
Beyond her acting career, Susan Sarandon is thoroughly involved in charitable activities, she supports organizations responding to war conflicts and natural disasters, and she actively engages in the struggle to support minority rights. She numbers among those artists who openly voice their political opinions and address current sociopolitical problems.
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