The 75th edition of the Locarno Film Festival presents itself as “a new beginning”

– Two first films and a large number of European feature films by young directors and household names in the running for the Golden Leopard at the 75th Locarno Film Festival

Human Flesh Flowers by Helena Wittmann (© Funferfilm/Shellac)

The 75th edition of Locarno Film Festival will take place from August 3 to 13, an anniversary experienced as an “ideal starting ribbon” by the director Giona A. Nazzaro, in his second year at the head of the Swiss festival, and his team. Cinema, experienced as “the heart of our doing and our being, when everything changes”, to use Nazzaro’s words, becomes an anchor to which to cling to look at the complexity of the future with a certain serenity. This year, young directors are particularly celebrated, with a remarkable number of first films: 19 in total, 2 in the International Competition, 3 on the Piazza Grande, and no less than 12 out of 15 in the Cineasti del Presente competition, vying for the First Film Prize.

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No less than 226 films will be screened this year, including 105 world premieres and 3 international premieres. Among the personalities honored during this anniversary edition will be the American director Kelly Reichard (Pardo d’onore 2022), one of the most original and independent voices in contemporary American cinema. The Pardo alla carriera of this 75th edition will rather be dedicated to the immense Franco-Greek filmmaker Costa Gavras. The Lifetime Achievement Award will go to the actor Matt Dillonwhile the American producer Jason Blum will receive the Premio Raimondo Rezzonico award for best independent producer. New this year is the launch of the Locarno Green Project, whose initiatives include the WWF Pardo Verde, which will reward a work in competition reflecting an ecological theme, and the Green Film Fund, which supports films that deal with environmental issues (read the new).

The 17 films in the International Competition include a significant number of first works and films by young directors making their second or third feature film. The beginnings of this year are De noche los gatos son pardosby the Swiss Valentine Merza kind of intriguing detective story around the shooting of a libertine film, and the co-production between Belgium, France and Costa Rica Tengo sueños eléctricosa picturesque family portrait of the Belgian-trained Costa Rican director Valentina Maurel. Italy will be present this year with two directors’ co-productions in their third feature film: gigi the leg (Italy/France/Belgium) by Alessandro Comodin (Golden Leopard at the Cineasti del presente 2011 contest with Giacomo’s summer [+see also:
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), a documentary about his uncle, a country policeman, and the pataffio (Italy/Belgium) by Franco Lagui, a tragicomic account of a group of peasants and fallen lords in the Middle Ages marked by wolf hunger. There are also many French films between productions and co-productions, including Stella is in love by Sylvie Verheyde (sequel to his previous film Stella [+see also:
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from 2008) featuring Marina Fois, Benjamin Biolay and Flavie Delanglewhich follows the adventures of a 16-year-old teenager, and the political thriller Saturn Skittles by Patricia Mazuy (France/Belgium). Are also co-produced with France Human Flesh Flowersthe second feature film by the German director Helena Wittmannwhich depicts Ida’s exploration of the closed world of the Foreign Legion, and submachine gun by the Portuguese director born in Angola Carlos Conceicao, about the end of the colonial war in his native country, the erotic film about a young lawyer interested in women’s rights entitled Rule 34 by the Portuguese director Julia Murat (Brazil/France) and the co-production Lebanon, Iraq and France Tales from the Crimson House by the Franco-Iraqi director Abbas Fahdel. Austria and Germany will be present with two and one films respectively: Serviam – Ich dienen by Ruth Madenthe story of a Catholic boarding school attended by the Austrian elite and run by a dynamic abbess, irrelevant matter by Mikolaus Geyrhaltera documentary about the waste problem and the desperate efforts to solve it, and Peep by German artist and director Anne Oren. Also noteworthy among the European films in international competition, the Belgian-Russian co-production Fairy tale by Alexander Sokurov and fish sermon (Azerbaijan/Mexico/Switzerland/Great Britain) by an Azerbaijani and trained by Béla Tarr Hilal Baydarov.

Nine out of ten films are European productions and co-productions in the Parallel Out of Competition section. These include Swiss production Erica Jong-Break the Wall by Kaspar Kasicwhich depicts the life of New York writer Erica Jong, who with her bestseller fear of flying (1973) sparked reflections on sexuality in a resolutely innovative way, the Franco-Swiss co-production Continental Drift (South) [+see also:
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by Lionel Bayerwhich had its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, Lola, a first feature film by Andrew Legge (Ireland/Great Britain), a film with science fiction accents on the sequel to two atypical sisters, the Franco-Swiss co-production Dark night-wild slips (the burning ones, the stubborn ones) by Sylvain Georgesa documentary on the complex European migration situation, the Portuguese work light objects by Acacio de Almeida and Marie Carrethe Franco-Portuguese co-production Where is this street? Or without before or after by Joao Pedro Rodrigues and Joao Rui War da Mataan impressive and personal portrait of Lisbon, Ludovic Bessegatoit is Italian Prisma (episode 1 and 2) on adolescence, the documentary Pro logos by Mantas Kvedaravicius (Lithuania/Greece) whose protagonist is a mysterious Sudanese writer living in Greece, and Anna Erikssonof Finnish production Oa surprising and captivating feature film dominated by mysterious characters trying to change the established order.

Selected films:

Competition

StatementMahesh Narayanan (India)
fish sermonHilal Baydarov (Azerbaijan/Mexico/Switzerland/Great Britain)
Saturn SkittlesPatricia Mazuy (France/Belgium)
De noche los gatos son pardosValentine Merz (Swiss)
gigi the legAlessandro Comodin (Italy/France/Belgium)
Tales from the Crimson HouseAbbas Fahdel (Lebanon/Iraq/France)
Human Flesh FlowersHelena Wittmann (Germany/France)
The pitaffioFrancesco Lagui (Italy/Belgium)
Displaced materialNikolaus Geyrhalter (Austria)
Tommy gunsCarlos Coceicao (Portugal/France/Angola)
PeepAnne Oren (Germany)
Rule 34Julia Murat (Brazil/France)
Serviam – Ich dienenRuth Mader (Austria)
Fairy taleAlexander Sokurov (Belgium/Russia)
Stella is in loveSylvie Verheyde (France)
stone turtleMing Jinwoo (Malaysia)
Tengo sueños electronicosValentina Maurel (Belgium/France/Costa Rica)

Out of competition

Candy Landswab jeans (United States)
Erica Jong – Breaking the WallKaspar Kasic (Swiss)
Continental Drift (in the South) [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lionel Baier
film profile
]
Lionel Bayer (Switzerland/France)
LolaAndrew Legge (Ireland/Great Britain)
Dark night – wild leaves (the burning ones, the stubborn ones)Sylvain Georges (France/Switzerland)
light objectsAcacio de Almeida, Marie Carre (Portugal)
Where is this street? or without before or afterJoao Pedro Rodriguez, Joao Rui Guerra da Mata (Portugal/France)
prism (Episodes 1 and 2) – Ludovic Bessegato (Italy)
Pro logosMantas Kvedaravicius (Lithuania/Greece)
OAnna Eriksson (Finland)

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(Translated from Italian by Manuela Lazić)

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