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Switzerland’s Locarno Festival is entering its 70th year with a diverse lineup of pictures that has become characteristic of the annual film gathering which attracts top independent film talent from around the world.
With a look to the future, the event has rebranded itself as simply the Locarno Festival, with new initiatives including a Locarno Kids section and a Youth Advisory Board.
This year’s opening night film is Noemie Lvovsky’s dark drama Tomorrow and Thereafter, starring Mathieu Amalric. And the festival will close with a rock tribute film from Kevin Merz: Gotthard – One Life, One Soul.
Other Piazza Grande events include the critically lauded The Big Sick, starring Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan; Atomic Blonde with Charlize Theron and James McAvoy; Good Time, starring Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Jason Leigh; and What Happened to Monday?, starring Glenn Close, Noomi Rapace and Willem Dafoe.
Among nternational guests who will trek to Locarno this year are Irrfan Khan and Golshifteh Farahani, who will promote their love and revenge film The Song of Scorpions, and Fanny Ardant for the transgender-themed film Lola Pater. Vanessa Paradis will also head to Locarno for Samuel Benchetrit’s Chien, about a man becoming a submissive pet. And Nastassja Kinski will be honored with a lifetime achievement award.
Director Mathieu Kassovitz (Amelie) will receive the festival’s 2017 Excellence Award.
A total of 18 films will compete for this year’s Golden Leopard, including U.S. entries Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? by Travis Wilkerson, En el Septimo Dia by Jim McKay, Gemini by Aaron Katz and Lucky by John Carroll Lynch.
Other entries include Asteroids by Germano Maccioni, Goliath by Dominik Locher, Madame Hyde by Serge Bozon, Mrs. Fang by Bing Wang, Ta is peau lisse by Denis Cote and Wajib by Annemarie Jacir.
In the current cinema section, standouts include Beach Rats by Eliza Hittman, Easy by Andrea Magnani and Person to Person with Michael Cera and Abbi Jacobson.
As previously announced, Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody will receive the festival’s Leopard Club Award, and French director Jean-Marie Straub will receive the festival’s prestigious honorary Leopard.
Michel Merkt will receive the festival’s best independent producer award, honoring his career producing award-winning films including Toni Erdmann, My Life as a Zucchini and Elle.
Director Olivier Assayas will head up the jury to determine this year’s top award winners.
The Locarno Film Festival runs Aug. 2-12.
2017 LOCARNO FESTIVAL LINEUP
9 Doigts, F.J. Ossang
Good Manners, Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra
Charleston, Andrei Cretulescu
Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, Travis Wilkerson
En el Septimo Dia, Jim McKay
Freedom, Jan Speckenbach
Gemini, Aaron Katz
The Asteroids, Germano Maccioni
Goliath, Dominik Locher
Good Luck, Ben Russell
La Telenovela Errante, Raul Ruiz
Lucky, John Carroll Lynch
Madame Hyde, Serge Bozon
Mrs. Fang, Wang Bing
Dragonfly Eyes, Xu Bing
A Skin So Soft, Denis Cote
Winter Brothers, Hlynur Palmason
Wajib, Annemarie Jacir
Stories of Love That Cannot Belong to This World, Francesca Comencini
Atomic Blonde, David Leitch
Chien, Samuel Benchetrit
Tomorrow and Thereafter, Noemie Lvovsky
Three Peaks, Jan Zabeil
Gotthard – One Life, One Soul, Kevin Merz
I Walked With a Zombie, Jacques Turner
Iceman, Feliz Randau
Let the Corpses Tan, Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani
Lola Pater, Nadir Mokneche
Sicilia!, Jean-Marie Straub
Sparring, Samuel Jouy
The Big Sick, Michael Showalter
The Song of Scorpions, Anup Singh
What Happened to Monday, Tommy Wirkola
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