News Ewan McGregor will Receive The Festival President´s Award

Published: June 13, 2023| 11:00 AM

This year’s 57th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival welcomes as its guest Scottish actor, director, and producer Ewan McGregor. This winner of a Golden Globe, an Emmy, two European Film Awards, and numerous other awards will be on hand to receive a Festival President´s Award and to present his new film You Sing Loud, I Sing Louder, in which he appears alongside his daughter Clara, who will also be a guest of this year’s festival.

Ewan McGregor is one of the most exceptional actors working today. His extensive filmography is a unique combination of the tradition of British cinema with the grandeur of Hollywood productions. He began his acting career in the 1990s after graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, when he got his first roles in television series. Above all, however, he began to work with director Danny Boyle. His role in the dark comedy Shallow Grave (1994) earned him an Empire Award for best British actor, and their next joint film, Trainspotting (1996), was an international sensation. The second most successful British film of all time, Trainspotting (like its source material, the novel by Irwin Welsh) became a cult hit. McGregor and Boyle teamed up again for the 1997 romantic comedy A Life Less Ordinary, in which McGregor appeared alongside Cameron Diaz​.

There followed two films from the world of music – Little Voice (1998, dir. Mark Herman) and the gripping musical drama from the glam-rock era Velvet Goldmine (1998, dir. Todd Haynes). In 1999, Ewan McGregor began to appear in giant Hollywood productions. He first portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas’s cult sci-fi Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, after which he shot the war drama Black Hawk Down (2001) with Ridley Scott and the musical Moulin Rouge! (2001) with Baz Luhrmann. The latter film won two Oscars out of eight nominations, took home the Screen International Award (for best non-European film) at the 2001 European Film Awards, and earned Ewan McGregor a European Film Award for Outstanding European Achievement in World Cinema and his first nomination for the Golden Globes. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (dir. George Lucas) hit cinemas in 2002.

Over the years, Ewan McGregor’s acting talents have been sought out by a number of renowned directors, including Tim Burton (the 2003 fantasy comedy-drama Big Fish), Michael Bay (the 2005 action sci-fi The Island), Marc Forster (the 2005 mystery-drama Stay), Woody Allen (McGregor was one of the leads in the 2007 romantic mystery Cassandra’s Dream), and of course George Lucas, who again cast him as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the third episode of his legendary sci-fi epic, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). The Star Wars saga is one of the biggest pop culture phenomena of recent decades.

In 2009, McGregor appeared alongside Tom Hanks in Ron Howard’s adaptation of the Dan Brown bestseller Angels & Demons, and the following year he excelled in Roman Polanski’s thriller The Ghost Writer, for which he won the European Film Award for Best Actor. In 2010 he starred in the comedy drama Beginners (dir. Mike Mills, Olivier Bugge Coutté). The romantic film Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011, dir. Lasse Hallström) earned him his second Golden Globe nomination. He subsequently created a role in the disaster drama The Impossible (2012, dir. J.A. Bayona). In 2016, Ewan McGregor made his directorial debut with a film adaptation of Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, in which he played the main role. The following year, he again teamed up with Danny Boyle for T2 Trainspotting, which revisited the main protagonists of their cult film twenty years later. In 2019, he played the main role in the horror-thriller Doctor Sleep (2019, dir. Mike Flanagan), a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s cult classic The Shining.

McGregor won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film for his appearance in the third season of the successful series Fargo (2017). In 2021, he was nominated in the same category for his portrayal of eccentric fashion designer Halston in the eponymous Netflix series – a performance that also won him an Emmy.

He reprised the role of space guru Obi-Wan Kenobi in the 2022 series of the same name. The series broke Disney+ viewership records and became the platform's most-watched show worldwide.

He’s currently filming the miniserie Gentlemen in Moscow, which he is producing as well.

McGregor’s passion for travel and motorcycles is reflected in his positively received travel documentaries and documentary series, in which he appears as a guide alongside his friend Charley Boorman.

In 2013, Ewan McGregor was appointed an Officer in the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services in the fields of drama and charity.

In the road movie You Sing Loud, I Sing Louder (2023, dir. Emma Westenberg), which McGregor will present at the 57th KVIFF, a father and daughter (Ewan McGregor and his real-life daughter Clara McGregor) set out on a journey filled with unexpected encounters during which they find a way back to each other after a period of alienation. Clara McGregor is credited as a producer, as well as with the story alongside scriptwriter Ruby Caster and producer/actress Vera Bulder. Ewan McGregor is the film’s executive producer.


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