Locarno Festival: Chinese Documentary ‘Mrs. Fang’ Wins Golden Leopard

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Locarno's Piazza Grande

The latest from documentarian Wang Bing looks at the final days in the life of an elderly farmer.

Chinese documentary filmmaker Wang Bing on Saturday won the Locarno Film Festival’s Golden Leopard for his new film Mrs. Fang. The jury, led by French filmmaker Olivier Assayas, awarded the fest’s top prize to Wang, who is considered a leader in the current documentary film movement out of China.

Mrs. Fang is a sobering portrait of death, filmed throughout the last 10 days of the life of an elderly farmer. Last year, Wang won the Venice Film Festival's Horizons award for best screenplay for his film Bitter Money.

Locarno's special jury prize went to Good Manners, a horror-drama feature from Brazilian directing duo Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra.

F.J. Ossang received best director honors for 9 Doights, which focuses on a man on the run who inherits a fortune from a dying man he meets on the road.

Isabelle Huppert (Elle) took home the prize for best actress for Madame Hyde, a Serge Bozon film about a reviled teacher who becomes a different person after being struck by lightning.

Best actor honors went to Elliott Crossett Hove for Vinterbrodre by Hlynur Palmason. The film follows two brothers over a cold winter and their violent fight with another family.

In the Cinema of the Present competition, Ilian Metev won the Golden Leopard for Three Quarters; Valerie Massadian won the special jury prize for Milla; and Dae-Hwan Kim won the best emerging director prize for The First Lap.

Special mention went to Shevaun Mizrahi for Distant Constellation and Pedro Cabeleira for Damned Summer.

The 70th edition of the Switzerland fest ends Saturday with a screening at the Palazzo Grande of Swiss rock film Gotthard – One Life, One Soul