Locarno flies European colours

Article published on Aug. 4, 2008
community published
Article published on Aug. 4, 2008
The official selection for the 61st Locarno International Film Festival (August 6-16) – the third edition to be headed by artistic director Frédéric Maire – was unveiled this morning. Young directors from across Europe are well represented in the international competition, which will screen 17 features from 16 different countries.
These include Turkish filmmaker Özcan Alper’s debut title Autumn and Lance Daly’s Irish film Kisses.

Films vying for the Golden Leopard include Lionel Baier’s Un autre homme (“Another Man”, Switzerland); Malgorzata Szumowska’s 33 Scenes from Life (Germany/Poland); Mijke de Jong’s Katia’s Sister (Netherlands); Federico Bondi’s Mar nero (“Black Sea”, Italy/Romania/France); Klaus Händl’s März (“March”, Austria); Emmanuel Finkiel’s Nulle part terre promise (“Nowhere Promised Land”, France); and Gideon Koppel’s Sleep Furiously.

With the focus on diversity, the Piazza Grande open air screenings give pride of place to European films. The section will open with UK director Julian Jarrold’s Brideshead Revisited and Denis Rabaglia’s Marcello Marcello will be shown on Swiss Cinema Day. The line-up also includes Austrian director Philipp Stölzl’s North Face (Austria/Germany/Switzerland); German director Hannes Stöhr’s Berlin Calling; Lesson 21 by Italian writer Alessandro Baricco; Son of Rambow by the UK’s Garth Jennings; El brau blau by Spain’s Daniel Villamediana; I Know by Slovenia’s Jan Cvitkovic; and three French films: Anne Fontaine’s La fille de Monaco (“The Girl from Monaco”), Karim Dridi’s Khamsa and Solveig Anspach’s Back Soon.

All these films are contenders for a new prize – the Variety Piazza Grande Award – to be presented by critics from the US professional magazine.

With a selection of narrative and documentary works, the Filmmakers of the Present Competition this year has a Latin flavour. The line-up includes two Italian features – Bruno Oliviero’s Napoli piazza municipio (“Naples, Piazza Municipio”) and Davide Manuli’s Beket – and three French films: Jean-Charles Fitoussi’s Je ne suis pas morte (“I’m Not Dead”), Siegfried’s Kinogamma Part 1: East / Part 2: Far East and David Teboul’s La vie ailleurs (“Life Elsewhere”). Further titles are Fernand Melgar’s La Forteresse (“The Fortress”, Switzerland) and Sandro Aguilar’s A Zona (Portugal).

In addition to the retrospective dedicated to Italian filmmaker and actor Nanni Moretti, the festival will also pay homage to Israeli director Amos Gitai (Honorary Leopard), who will present Later; US producer Christine Vachon (Raimondo Rezzonico Award) ; and US actress Anjelica Huston (Excellence Award), who stars in Clark Gregg’s Choke.

Mathieu Loewer