Locarno to Honor Mexico's Gael Garcia Bernal with Excellence Award

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Garcia Bernal will be honored ahead of the August 8 screening of Pablo Larrain's "No," in which he plays the lead role.

ROME – Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal will join U.K. actress Charlotte Rampling as recipients of the Locarno Film Festival’s Excellence Award, organizers announced Thursday.

Garcia Bernal stars in Pablo Larrain’s historical drama about Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, No, which is already scheduled to screen in Locarno’s famous Piazza Grande venue on August 8. Organizers said Thursday that Garcia Bernal would be on hand to receive the award before the screening of the film.

In addition to No, the festival’s tribute to Garcia Bernal will also include screenings of two of his most important roles:  Pedro Almodovar’s La mala educacion (Bad Education) from 2004 and La science des reves (The Science of Sleep) from Michael Gondry, released in 2006.

Another Garcia Bernal film appeared in Locarno last year, when The Loneliest Planet from Julia Loktev was in the festival’s main competition.

Garcia Bernal and Rampling are part of a long Locarno tradition of honoring actors with an international standing with the Excellence Award. Previous honorees include U.S.-based actors Susan Sarandon, John Malkovich, and William Dafoe, Italians Toni Servillo and Chiara Mastroianni, Russia’s Oleg Menchikov, Michel Piccoli of France.

The 65th edition of the Swiss festival will take place this year August 1-11.