Kelly Reichardt's 'First Cow' to Open Locarno Film Festival

Courtesy of A24
'First Cow'

The star, Israeli director Nadav Lapid and Lesotho filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese will head up this year's Locarno jury, judging works-in-progress in the festival's Films After Tomorrow lineup.

Kelly Reichardt is pulling double duty at this year's Locarno Film Festival.

First Cow, the latest feature from the acclaimed American indie director, will open the 2020 Locarno fest August 5 and Reichardt will also join Locarno's international jury judging this year's competition.

Israeli director Nadav Lapid (Synonyms) and Lesotho filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection) join Reichardt on the Locarno jury, which this year will pick the best projects from the 10 in-development works in the festival's Films After Tomorrow lineup. The projects, which include new works by arthouse directors Lucrecia Martel, Lav Diaz and Miguel Gomes, were all forced to halt production due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Directors Alina Marazzi (All About You), Matías Pineiro (They All Lie) and Mohsen Makhmalbaf (The Silence) make up the jury for the Swiss Films After Tomorrow selection.

First Cow premiered in Telluride last year and has also screened at the New York and Berlin film festivals. A24 initially planned to release the film theatrically in March but, after initially delaying a bow amid the COVID-19 outbreak, put the movie out on VOD July 10. buoyed by strong critical response to the movie, A24 is positioning First Cow as a potential awards contender.

Locarno will roll out in a hybrid form this year. While there will be in-theater screenings in Locarno, the bulk of the 2020 program will unspool online. Locarno's artistic director Lili Hinstin has put the focus on supporting independent filmmakers hard hit by the current crisis.

Instead of new titles, the bulk of this year's program will consist of works-in-progress, with the directors picked for the Films After Tomorrow sections selecting their favorite festival titles from more than 7 decades of Locarno line-ups.  

The 73rd Locarno International Film Festival will close August 15 with the world premiere of La France contre les Robots, a new short from French director Jean-Marie Straub (Sicily!), along with a selection of nine shorts made by Swiss directors during the crisis as part of a project dubbed "Collection Lockdown."