Locarno Festival to Open With 'Ricki and the Flash,' Starring Meryl Streep

Ricki and the Flash - H

Andy Garcia, Michael Cimino, Bill Hader, Edward Norton and Amy Schumer are among the guests attending.

The world premiere of Jonathan Demme’s Ricki and the Flash will open the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland on Aug. 5.

Meryl Streep stars as a woman who chose to pursue her dream of becoming a rock star, and later returns home for a shot at redemption. Streep’s daughter Mamie Gummer also stars in the film, alongside Kevin Kline, Rick Springfield and Audra McDonald. Diablo Cody wrote the script. The film, which is full of live musical performances, opens stateside on Aug. 7.

As previously announced, Edward Norton will receive Locarno’s Excellence Award on the festival's opening night. 

Locarno has an influx of American films this year, with five out of the 16 films screening in the Piazza Grande hailing from the States.

Amy Schumer and Bill Hader will be on hand to present Trainwreck to the 8,000 seat, open-air theater. Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw and Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl will also get the Piazza Grande treatment.

And Deerhunter will screen as part of a Michael Cimino retrospective. He’ll take home the festival’s lifetime achievement award, the Pardo d’onore.

Other tributes include a Pardo d’onore to Italian director Marco Bellocchio. Oscar-winning editor and sound designer Walter Murch will receive the Vision Award. And Andy Garcia will be honored with the Leopard Club Award.

The international competition again includes a variety of films, both fiction and documentary. The jury is comprised of American director Jerry Schatzberg, Korean actress Moon So-ri, Israel director Nadav Lapid, German actor Udo Kier and Morelia festival director Daniela Michel.

Among the films competing for the top prizes are Pietro Marcello’s Bella e Perduta, Cosmos by Andrzej Zulawski, Happy Hour by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, No Home Movie by Chantal Akerman and O Futebol by Sergio Oksman.

The two American films in competition are Josh Mond’s James White, starring Christopher Abbott and Cynthia Nixon, and Rick Alverson’s Entertainment, starring John C. Reilly and Michael Cera. U.K. film The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers by Ben Rivers is also in the lineup.

The jury for the cinema of the present award includes Brazilian director Julio Bressane, U.S. producer Jay Van Hoy, U.K. director Joanna Hogg, French actress Clotilde Courau, and Swiss director Fabrice Aragno.

New directors competing for Locarno prizes include Mauro Herce, who is bringing Dead Slow Ahead; Vincent Macaigne’s Dom Juan, Steve Chen’s Dream Land and Igor Drljaca’s The Waiting Room.

Art Basel has curated a selection of shorts for the festival. And a retrospective of Sam Peckinpah includes 37 screenings dedicated to the director’s film and TV work.

Locarno’s co-production Lab Open Doors will feature 12 projects from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya. And the First Look postproduction workshop is dedicated to cinema from Israel this year.

New this year, Locarno has extended its summer academy, which aims to develop the careers of young filmmakers and critics, to include an industry academy to enhance the networks of those wanting to break into the business.

The 68th edition of the festival runs Aug. 5-15. 

July 15, 10:55 am Updated to clarify plot information.