Locarno finds 'Via'

Mexican drama caps fest with Golden Leopard

"Parque Via," a drama from Mexican director Enrique Rivero, won the top prize at the 61st Locarno Film Festival on Saturday.

The festival reported record-breaking business, with five of 18 in-competition films signed to international distribution deals.

Threatening weather over much of the fest's 11 days prevented it from surpassing last year's attendance record. Organizers said the event attracted 180,000 visitors, a 3% drop compared with last year's levels. That was due mainly to a 5% drop in attendance at the festival's picturesque outdoor Piazza Grande, where only four of 11 screenings took place under clear skies.

"Parque Via," the first Mexican film to win Locarno's prestigious Golden Leopard Award and one of only four non-world premieres in the lineup, has been a success in every festival it has screened. The film won two awards in February at the Mexico City Film Festival.

It capped a noteworthy festival for Latin American film, which was the focus of Locarno's Open Doors sidebar.

Locarno's jury prize went to "33 Scenes From Life," a Germany-Poland co-production from Malgoska Szumowska. Denis Cote won the best director prize for "Elle veut le chaos." Tayanc Ayaydin ("The Market — A Tale of Trade") and Illaria Occhini ("Mar Nero") won the best actor and actress awards, respectively. (partialdiff)
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