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LOCARNO 2019 Competition

Locarno 72 will mark a rich first edition for Lili Hinstin

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- “The Locarno Film Festival is highly respected because it is a big international festival which is willing to take big risks”, says the new artistic director of “her” festival

Locarno 72 will mark a rich first edition for Lili Hinstin
Vitalina Varela by Pedro Costa

Now at its 72nd edition, the Locarno Film Festival (7-17 August) is forging ever further down the path of freedom and wonderment that Carlo Chatrian embarked upon, before he handed the festival reins over to Lili Hinstin. Indeed, Hinstin shows no signs of compromising in this respect, promising that this first edition of hers will “shake up, surprise, perturb and question”. It’s a mission which is by no means straightforward, but it’s essential for a festival which describes itself as both innovative (as well as an innovator) and popular (we’re thinking of the Piazza Grande programme, and its 8,000 viewers - read the news about the parallel sections).

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“This 72nd edition is characterised by the notion of shifting. The notions of time and movement which have always characterised the Festival are themselves a departure, or a shift away from the norm; from all norms. The Locarno Film Festival is outside of the norm”. Lili Hinstin’s is a line of thought that sits well with the festival’s varied and eclectic programme, which will pit seminal directors such as Pedro Costa against up and coming filmmakers such as Basil Da Cunha, both of whom have been selected for the International Competition. It’s a line-up which confirms Hinstin’s desire to open up the festival and to venture into new territories, such as virtual reality and works which are 40 to 59 minutes in length, with both types featuring in the various competitions.

Equally out of the ordinary is the 72nd Manor di Locarno Golden Leopard, which will go to the hilarious John Waters and his unclassifiable and freer than free universe. It will be a woman, however, who will receive the significant Ticinomoda Vision Award: the French-American editor Claire Atherton, a hugely important figure with a sharp and visionary eye for film who has worked with the immensely talented Chantal Akerman (who, in 2015, presented her last film No Home Movie [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
right here in Locarno) for over 30 years. A new prize, meanwhile, the Utopia Award, will be handed to Enrico Ghezzi, creator of the RAI 3 programme Fuori Orario, which has allowed the dream of television as a vector of knowledge and democracy to become a reality.

There’s a decidedly high number of European films (both productions and co-productions) in this year’s International Competition, a category which will see great authors of the modern age - acclaimed filmmakers but also many new directors - jostling for position. A bold spirit and a desire to “move” towards new, real-life ground are attributes which can also be detected in the festival’s chosen themes, as see in the Israeli-Swedish documentary During Revolution [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Maya Khoury, a powerful, first feature film on the extreme consequences of foreign intervention in the Syrian conflict. Undoubtedly one of the most hotly anticipated films of the festival is Vitalina Varela [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, a work which marks the return of Pedro Costa, an great icon of international cinema. Vitalina Varela tells of the heart-breaking return of a Cape Verde woman to Portugal following a 25-year absence.

Amongst the big directors in competition this year are Japan’s Koji Fukada with his Japan-France co-production A Girl Missing [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, A Voluntary Year [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Germany’s Ulrich Köhler and Henner Winckler, and Terminal Sud [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by the Algerian-French director Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche. French directors in the running include the youthful Nadège Trebal with her work Douze Mille [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, and Damien Manivel’s long-awaited new film, Isadora's Children.

There are no shortage of co-productions involving France either: The Fever [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maya Da-Rin
film profile
]
(a co-production between Brazil, France and Germany) by the upcoming director Maya Da-Rin, Echo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rúnar Rúnarsson
film profile
]
(Iceland/France/Switzerland) from the now well-established Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson, Cat In The Wall [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 (Bulgaria/UK /France), the first fiction feature by the Bulgarian directors Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova, not to mention Indonesian director Yosep Anggi Noen’s new work The Science of Fictions [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Indonesia/Malaysia/France). In addition to Pedro Costa, Portugal will also be represented in the competition by João Nicolau with Technoboss [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: João Nicolau
film profile
]
. Spain, on the other hand, will be in attendance with just one film, Longa noite [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Eloy Enciso
film profile
]
, the latest feature film by Eloy Enciso. The same goes for Italy, which will compete by way of Maura Delpero’s first feature, Maternal [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maura Delpero
film profile
]
. To crown it all, flying the flag of Switzerland will be one of the country’s most interesting and promising directors, Basil Da Cunha, with his second feature film which is set on the periphery of Lisbon O Fim do Mundo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Basil Da Cunha
film profile
]
.

International Competition

The Fever [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maya Da-Rin
film profile
]
Maya Da-Rin (Brazil/France/Germany)
Echo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rúnar Rúnarsson
film profile
]
Rúnar Rúnarsson (Iceland/France/Switzerland)
Cat In The Wall [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
Mina Mileva, Vasela Kazakova (Bulgaria/UK/France)
A Voluntary Year [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 – Ulrich Köhler, Henner Winckler (Germany)
Douze mille [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
Nadège Trebal (France)
During Revolution [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
Maya Khoury (Syria/Sweden)
The Science of Fictions [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
Yosep Anggi Noen (Indonesia/Malaysia/France)
Maternal [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maura Delpero
film profile
]
Maura Delpero (Italy/Argentina)
Isadora's Children [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Damien Manivel
film profile
]
Damien Manivel (France/South Korea)
Longa noite [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Eloy Enciso
film profile
]
Eloy Enciso (Spain)
O Fim do Mundo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Basil Da Cunha
film profile
]
Basil Da Cunha (Switzerland)
Height of the WavePark Jung-bum (South Korea)
Technoboss [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: João Nicolau
film profile
]
João Nicolau (Portugal/France)
Terminal Sud [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche (France)
The Last Black Man in San FranciscoJoe Talbot (US)
Vitaina Varela [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
Pedro Costa (Portugal)
A Girl Missing [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
Koji Fukada (Japan/France)

(Translated from Italian)

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