Locarno Film Festival Unveils Lineup, Abbas Kiarostami Tribute

Courtesy of Joss Barratt
'I, Daniel Blake'

Roger Corman, Howard Shore, David Linde and Bill Pullman are among the honorees at the 69th edition of the Swiss festival.

The Locarno Film Festival on Wednesday unveiled the lineup for its 69th edition, which will again focus on world cinema.

The international competition of the Swiss fest will feature 17 entries, this year all world-premieres. They include Hermia & Helena by Matías Pineiro (Argentina), By the Time It Gets Dark by Anocha Suwichakornpong (Thailand), Wet Woman in the Wind by Akihiko Shiota (Japan) and The Last Family by Jan Matuszynski (Poland).

Mexican director Arturo Ripstein will preside over the jury along with Kate Moran, Rafi Pitts, Rodrigo Teixeira and Wang Bing.

Other films playing Locarno's Piazza Grande will include Jason Bourne, starring Matt Damon and Julia Stiles, and the event will open with the world premiere of zombie thriller The Girl With All the Gifts, starring Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Glenn Close. Plus, Ken Loach will be on hand to present his 2016 Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake.

The festival's Concorso Cineasti lineup features one lone entry from the U.S., Donald Cried, the debut film of Kris Avedisian, and international highlights including Destruction Babies from Tetsuya Mariko (Japan), Afterlov from Stergios Paschos (Greece), I Had Nowhere to Go from Douglas Gordon (Germany) and Pescatori di Corpi from Michele Pennetta (Switzerland). Italian horror maestro — and another festival regular — Dario Argento will serve as president of the section's jury.

Among the honorees this year, Bill Pullman will receive the fest’s Excellence Award. His films Lost Highway and Zero Effect are set to screen and the actor is expected to engage in a Q&A with festgoers.

Locarno also will pay tribute to recently deceased filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who was a frequent guest of the festival. In addition to playing some of his most revered works, the fest will premiere Filming in Cuba With Abbas Kiarostami, a series of shots developed from a workshop earlier this year with the Iranian auteur.

As previously announced, the honorary Pardo award this year will go to Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky. A retrospective of the avant garde director's work is set to unspool, including The Dance of Reality, The Holy Mountain and Santa Sangre. His latest film, Endless Poetry, a tribute to Chile’s artistic heritage, also will screen at the Piazza Grande, known as Europe’s largest outdoor cinema.

Producer David Linde will be honored with the fest's best independent producer award. Locarno will play some of his most successful films, including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Ang Lee and Y Tu Mama Tambien by Alfonso Cuaron.

Canadian composer Howard Shore will receive the Vision Award, and producer Roger Corman and actor Mario Adorf will receive career tributes. The biggest retrospective of the fest this year is dedicated to the cinema of the young Federal Republic of Germany from 1949-1963.

The Locarno Film Festival is set to run Aug. 3-13 in the Italian-speaking resort on Lake Maggiore in southern Switzerland. 

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