Hong Sang-soo, International, Locarno Film Festival, Melanie Laurent, Movie News, Movies, Paz Vega, Radu Jude

Locarno Fest Lineup Includes Hong Sang-soo, Paz Vega Films, Honors for Mélanie Laurent, Guillaume Canet

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The Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland has unveiled an eclectic lineup for its 77th edition, taking place Aug. 7-17. The fest will screen 225 total films, including 104 world premieres, five international premieres and some debut features, including new films from such directors as Hong Sang-soo, Spanish actress Paz Vega and Radu Jude. Gianluca Jodice’s Le Déluge, starring Mélanie Laurent and Guillaume Canet, will also world premiere and open the fest, with Locarno on Wednesday unveiling that the two French stars will receive the Excellence Award Davide Campari on the fest’s opening night.

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Beyond new fare, some of this season’s film festival favorites and classics will screen in Locarno’s main Piazza Grande section, taking place on the town’s main square set up with 8,000 seats. Films to be screened include Cannes hits such as Laetitia Dosch’s Dog on Trial, Mohammad Rasoulof’s The Seed of the Sacred Fig, and Claude Barras’ Savages, along with such classics as Jane Campion’s The Piano, the world premiere of the 4K restored director’s cut of Tarsem Singh’s The Fall, and Jean-Luc Godard’s A Woman Is a Woman.

New offerings include the world premieres of Vega’s feature directorial debut Rita, in which she also appears, Mexico 86, starring Bérénice Béjo, by César Díaz, and Le Déluge by Gianluca Jodice with Laurent as Marie-Antoinette and Canet as Louis XVI in the film about “the last days of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette before they were executed.”

Steven Spielberg’s E.T. will screen on the square as a pre-festival event on Aug. 4.

The fest’s Concorso Internazionale, or international Competition, in which the Pardo d’Oro, or Golden Leopard is the top honor, will include the likes of Timestalker, directed by and starring English actress Alice Lowe, along with Nick Frost; Bogancloch by Ben Rivers; Der Spatz im Kamin by Ramon Zürcher; and Wang Bing’s Qing Chun (Ku), whose English title is Youth (Hard Times).

Meanwhile, Locarno’s Concorso Cineasti del Presente sidebar, which puts the spotlight on first and second features, will include Invention by Courtney Stephens, Iva Radivojević’s When the Phone Rang, and Crickets, It’s Your Turn by Olga Korotko, among others.

Fuori Concorso, Locarno’s non–competitive section that organizers describe as a “laboratory for the mixing of all conceivable genres and varied forms of storytelling,” includes such offerings as U.S. film Bang Bang, starring Tim Blake Nelson and directed by Vincent Grashaw, as well as a new film from Italian director Marco Tullio Giordana and two films, including a tribute to Andy Warhol’s Sleep, from experimental and provocative Romanian auteur Radu Jude (2023’s Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World).

And Locarno’s Pardi di Domani section, showcasing short and medium-length films focused on experimentation and innovative forms, will include a contribution from Canadian auteur Denis Côté.

Finally, a 10-film homage to late avant-garde U.S. filmmaker Stan Brakhage will also be part of Locarno 77.

“From well–established film directors, such as Hong Sang-soo, Wang Bing, Ben Rivers, Pia Marais, Silvia Luzi and Luca Bellino, including Ala Eddine Slim, Gürcan Keltek and Kurdwin Ayub, Christoph Hochhäusler, the Zürcher brothers and Laurynas Bareiša, to Mar Coll and Sara Fgaier, Marta Mateus, Sylvie Ballyot, and Virgil Vernier, the competition is a deep immersion into the possibilities of contemporary film language,” said Locarno’s artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro, calling it “an ambitious competition.”

He added: “In the non-competitive sections too, artists like Edgar Pêra, Radu Jude, Bertrand Mandico, and Fabrice Du Welz, with their fresh approaches to the film essay, or Marco Tullio Giordana and Isild Le Besco, with their cinema rooted in the abysmal depths of the unspoken in families and related traumas, are key elements of vital conversations.”

During a press conference, Nazzaro mentioned that 34.9 percent of films in the selection are from female filmmakers. In the Concorso Internazionale, female filmmakers account for eight of 17 movies (47.1 percent), in the Cineasti del Presente program seven of 15 (46.7 percent), and in the Pardi di Domani lineup 18 out of 40 (45 percent).

Asked why no movie from Israel was in the lineup, but co-productions with Qatar were, and whether that was a political decision, the artistic director said no, pointing to Qatar’s active role in the film space in recent years, including due to the work of the Doha Film Institute. “We watched all of the films. We also received films from Israel, and we discussed all of them,” Nazzaro said. “But we really viewed the films as works in themselves.” He concluded: “So, it’s really not an issue.”

Locarno previously unveiled that it will honor Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan with its lifetime achievement award, the Pardo alla Carriera, or career leopard. The star, known to his fans as “King Khan,” will receive the prize on Aug. 10.

The night before, French-Swiss actress Irène Jacob, best-known for her star-making turns in Krzysztof Kieślowski’s The Double Life of Veronique (1991), and Three Colors: Red (1994), will receive this year’s Leopard Club Award for her contribution to contemporary cinema.

The event will also honor veteran indie producer Stacey Sher (Erin Brockovich, Django Unchained) with this year’s Premio Raimondo Rezzonico Award for the best independent producer on Aug. 8. 

Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner will serve as jury president of the Concorso Internazionale section. The jury will decide the winner of the Pardo d’Oro, the Golden Leopard, at the Swiss fest.

Check out the Locarno film festival’s full main feature competition lineup below:

Piazza Grande Program

Electric Child by Simon Jaquemet
world premiere

Gaucho Gaucho by Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw
Swiss premiere

Le Déluge by Gianluca Jodice
world premiere

Dog on Trial by Laetitia Dosch
Swiss premiere, first feature

Mexico 86 by César Díaz
world premiere

Reinas by Klaudia Reynicke
Swiss premiere

Rita by Paz Vega
world premiere, first feature

Savages by Claude Barras
Swiss premiere

Sew Torn by Freddy Macdonald
international premiere, first feature

Shambhala by Min Bahadur Bham
Swiss premiere

The Fall (Restored Cut)
by Tarsem Singh
world premiere of the 4K restoration and director’s cut

The Piano by Jane Campion

The Seed of the Sacred Fig by Mohammad Rasoulof
Swiss premiere

Timestalker by Alice Lowe
Swiss premiere

A Woman Is a Woman by Jean-Luc Godard
world premiere of the 4K restoration

Concorso Internazionale Program

Agora by Ala Eddine Slim
world premiere

Akiplėša (Toxic) by Saulė Bliuvaitė
world premiere, first feature

Bogancloch by Ben Rivers
world premiere

Cent Mille Milliards by Virgil Vernier
world premiere

Der Spatz im Kamin by Ramon Zürcher
world premiere

Fogo Do Vento (Fire of Wind) by Marta Mateus
world premiere, first feature

Green Line by Sylvie Ballyot
world premiere, first feature

La Mort Viendra by Christoph Hochhäusler
world premiere

Luce by Silvia Luzi, Luca Bellino
world premiere

Mond (Moon) by Kurdwin Ayub
world premiere

Qing Chun (Ku) (Youth (Hard Times)) by Wang Bing
world premiere

Suyoocheon (By the Stream) by Hong Sang-soo
world premiere

Salve Maria by Mar Coll
world premiere

Seses (Drowning Dry) by Laurynas Bareiša
world premiere

Sulla Terra Leggeri by Sara Fgaier
world premiere, first feature

Transamazonia by Pia Marais
world premiere

Yeni Șafak Solarken (New Dawn Fades) by Gürcan Keltek
world premiere

Concorso Cineasti Del Presente Program

Crickets, It’s Your Turn by Olga Korotko
world premiere

Der Fleck by Willy Hans
world premiere, first feature

Fario by Lucie Prost
world premiere, first feature

Fekete Pont (Lesson Learned) by Bálint Szimler
world premiere, first feature

Foul Evil Deeds by Richard Hunter
world premiere, first feature

Hanami by Denise Fernandes
world premiere, first feature

Holy Electricity by Tato Kotetishvili
world premiere, first feature

Invention by Courtney Stephens
world premiere

Joqtau by Aruan Anartay
world premiere, first feature

Kada Je Zazvonio Telefon (When the Phone Rang) by Iva Radivojević
world premiere

Kouté Vwa (Listen to the Voices) by Maxime Jean-Baptiste
world premiere, first feature

Les Enfants Rouges by Lotfi Achour
world premiere

Monólogo Colectivo by Jessica Sarah Rinland
world premiere

Olivia & Las Nubes by Tomás Pichardo-Espaillat
world premiere, first feature

Real by Adele Tulli
world premiere

Fuori Concorso

Bang Bang by Vincent Grashaw
international premiere

Cartas Telepáticas (Telepathic Letters) by Edgar Pêra
world premiere

Dragon Dilatation by Bertrand Mandico
world premiere

Espèce Menacée by Bruno Deville
world premiere

Fréwaka by Aislinn Clarke
world premiere

La Passion Selon Béatrice by Fabrice Du Welz
world premiere

La Prodigiosa Trasformazione Della Classe Operaia in Stranieri by Samir
world premiere

La Vita Accanto by Marco Tullio Giordana
world premiere

Ma Famille Chérie by Isild Le Besco
world premiere

Opt Ilustrate Din Lumea Ideală (Eight Postcards from Utopia) by Radu Jude, Christian Ferencz-Flatz
world premiere

Sleep #2 by Radu Jude
world premiere

Pardi di Domani Program
(short and medium-length films focused on experimentation and innovative forms)

Pardi Di Domani – Concorso Internazionale
400 Cassettes by Thelyia Petraki
B(l)ind the Sacrifice by Nakhane
Despre Imposibilitatea Unui Omagiu (On the Impossibility of an Homage) by Xandra Popescu
Dull Spots of Greenish Colours by Sasha Svirsky
Freak by Claire Barnett
Gender Reveal by Mo Matton
Gimn Chume (Hymn of the Plague) by Ataka51
Icebergs by Carlos Pereira
Linnud Läinud (On Weary Wings Go By) by Anu-Laura Tuttelberg
Ludwig (Power Inferno) by Anton Bialas
Mother Is a Natural Sinner by Boris Hadžija, Hoda Taheri
Punter by Jason Adam Maselle
Que Te Vaya Bonito, Rico by Joel Alfonso Vargas
Razeh–del by Maryam Tafakory
Soleil Gris by Camille Monnier
The Cavalry by Alina Orlov
The Form by Melika Pazouki
The Nature of Dogs by Pom Bunsermvicha
Washhh by Mickey Lai
What Mary Didn’t Know by Konstantina Kotzamani

Pardi Di Domani – Concorso Nazionale
Better Not Kill the Groove by Jonathan Leggett
Lux Carne by Gabriel Grosclaude
Maman Danse by Mégane Brügger
Métropole by Theo Kunz
Progress Mining by Gabriel Böhmer
Revier by Felix Scherrer
Sans Voix by Samuel Patthey
Sky Rogers: Manager De Stars by Ciel Sourdeau
Tinderboys by Sarah Bucher, Carlos Tapia

Pardi Di Domani – Concorso Corti D’autore
1 Hijo & 1 Padre by Andrés Ramírez Pulido
Chou He Zhuang (Like What Would Sorrow Look) by Hao Zhou
Gwe–in Esi Jeongche (The Masked Monster) by Syeyoung Park
Jours Avant La Mort De Nicky by Denis Côté
La Fille Qui Explose by Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel
Les Bouches by Valentin Merz
My Life Is Wind (A Letter) by Anahita Ghazvinizadeh
Practice, Practice, Practice by Kevin Jerome Everson
Revolving Rounds by Johann Lurf, Christina Jauernik
Upshot by Maha Haj

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