Locarno film festival looks to its Future

Slates film improv lab, Swiss animation group tribute

ROME -- Organizers of the 61st annual Locarno Film Festival said Thursday that the Leopards of the Future sidebar will feature a film improvisation lab and a tribute to the Swiss Group for Animated Film, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The full lineup of the Leopards of Tomorrow -- the festival's short film section that focuses on young directors -- will be announced next month when the full Locarno lineup is revealed.

The improvisation lab, "Kabaret Kino, 4 jours en court," will feature a competition between teams of students who will be asked to make films on a given theme over a four-day span. The tribute, meanwhile, will feature screenings of 14 selected animated shorts from the last 10 years, dating back to the 30-year tribute of the animation group at Locarno in 1998.

The Leopards of Tomorrow jury also was announced Thursday. It will be headed by Swiss director Fulvio Bernasconi, whose film "Fuori dale corde" was in the main competition in Locarno last year. Other jury members are Israel's Eran Kolirin, Hungarian actress Orsi Toth, Holland's Dick Rijneke and director Angele Paulino from France.

The Locarno festival is set for Aug. 6-16.