Roman Polanski to Receive Honor at Locarno Film Festival

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Roman Polanski

The 80-year-old Oscar-winning director will attend the Swiss festival and hold a masterclass for young filmmakers.

ROME  The Locarno international film festival will honor Oscar-winning Polish director Roman Polanski with a special award at this year’s fest.

The 80-year old Polanski will attend the 67th Locarno festival and give a masterclass on August 15 for festival goers and young filmmakers attending the Locarno Summer Academy.

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Polanski will also introduce his film Venus in Fur at an outdoor screening in Locarno's Piazza Grande on August 14, accompanied by the film’s star, Polanski’s wife, Emmanuelle Seigner. Venus in Fur, about an actress who plots her way into a choice role, premiered last year in Cannes and was distributed domestically last summer by IFC films.

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“Roman Polanski’s films have been a regular feature of my trajectory as a filmgoer—making me laugh, shiver, think, and be emotionally moved," said Locarno’s artistic director Carlo Chatrian about the decision to honor the Polish director. "It has been an enormous pleasure to follow the work of this unique artist who has managed to translate turning points in his own life so creatively.”

The director of such classics as Chinatown and The Pianist is still wanted in the United States on 40-year-old statutory rape charges but traveling to Locarno will not put him in danger of extradition to the US. Switzerland is one of the few countries where the director can travel freely. In 2010, after he had been arrested on request of US authorities while visiting the Zurich film festival, a Swiss court ruled not to extradite Polanski.

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Mia Farrow, star of Polanski’s 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby will also attend Locarno this year, where she will receive the festival's lifetime achievement honor, the Leopard Club Award. Other festival honorees include actors Juliette Binoche, Giancarlo Giannini and Armin Mueller-Stahl, Hong Kong producer Nansun Shi, Spanish director Victor Erice, French director Agnes Varda and cameraman Garrett Brown.

Twitter: @Aristonla