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LOCARNO 2019 Competition / Filmmakers of the Present / Signs of Life / Piazza Grande / Moving Ahead / Awards

Vitalina Varela comes out of the darkness to win the prestigious Golden Leopard at Locarno

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- Perhaps not so unexpectedly, the rigour and tenacity of Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa seduced the jury of the International Competition

Vitalina Varela comes out of the darkness to win the prestigious Golden Leopard at Locarno
Director Pedro Costa with his Golden Leopard (© Massimo Pedrazzini/Locarno Film Festival)

A regular of the Locarno Film Festival, which has always reserved a prominent place for him (his previous film Horse Money [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
won the Best Director award in Locarno in 2014), Portuguese director Pedro Costa this year wins two awards with his superb and uncompromisingly bitter Vitalina Varela [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
: the Golden Leopard, the supreme recognition of the festival, and the Leopard for Best Actress, given to Vitalina Varela, the lead of the film. An acting award which the jury of the International Competition, headed by Catherine Breillat, gave to the woman who, with her person, her story, and her tormented physicality gave body to Pedro Costa’s film. Beyond the hermeticism of a demanding and aesthetically grandiose cinema, which recalls masters of supernatural horror such as David Lynch (and his Elephant Man), Vitalina Varela exudes a desperate humanity that, in the end, can only touch us.

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Accompanying Vitalina Varela on the highest steps of the podium in Locarno is the discreet but powerful Regis Myrupu, lead from The Fever [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maya Da-Rin
film profile
]
(FIPRESCI Awards) by Maya Da-Rin, who received the award for Best Actor. A person/character who, like Vitalina Varela, simultaneously embodies the contradiction of his native land and of his personal story.

And another European film about women in all their splendid complexity: Isadora's Children [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Damien Manivel
film profile
]
from French director Damien Manivel, an ode to the power of dance, won the second most important award of the festival: the Leopard for Best Director. A Special Mention went to Maternal [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maura Delpero
film profile
]
from Italian director Maura Delpero, who also brought home the Ecumenical award, the Europa Cinemas Label award, and the Second Prize from the Youth Jury.

In the Filmmakers of the Present competition, Nafi’s Father from Senegalese director Mamadou Dia (who also won the Swatch First Feature Award, for best feature debut) won the Filmmakers of the Present Golden Leopard. Among the European films awarded in this important competition, we find the co-production between Romania and Serbia Ivana the Terrible [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, by Ivana Mladenović (winner of the Filmmakers of the Present Ciné+ Special Jury Prize), and English docu-fiction Here for Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson (Special Mention).

European co-productions were also winners in the most audacious section, Moving Ahead. The Moving Ahead Award went to The Giverny Document (Single Channel) by Ja’Tovia M Gary (USA/France) and the Special Mention (together with Chinese film Osmosis by Zhou Tao) went to Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(UK/Argentina/Spain) from young British director Jessica Sarah Rinland.

Instinct [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the first film from Dutch actress and writer Halina Reijn, presented on the majestic screen of the Piazza Grande, won the Variety Piazza Grande Award and the Special Mention from the First Feature competition, shared with documentary During Revolution [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, a co-production between Syria and Switzerland, by Maya Khoury.

Here is the full list of winners:

Competition

Golden Leopard
Vitalina Varela [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 – Pedro Costa (Portugal)

Special Jury Prize
Height of the Wave – Park Jung-bum (South Korea)

Leopard for Best Director
Damien Manivel – Isadora's Children [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Damien Manivel
film profile
]
(France/South Korea)

Leopard for Best Actress
Vitalina Varela – Vitalina Varela

Leopard for Best Actor
Regis Myrupu – The Fever [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maya Da-Rin
film profile
]
(Brazil/France/Germany)

Special Mentions
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)

Filmmakers of the Present

Filmmakers of the Present Golden Leopard
Nafi’s Father – Mamadou Dia (Senegal)

Award for Best Emerging Director – City and Region of Locarno
143 rue du désert [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Hassen Ferhani (Algeria/France/Qatar)

Filmmakers of the Present Ciné+ Special Jury Prize
Ivana the Terrible [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Ivana Mladenović (Romania/Serbia)

Special Mention
Here for Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Andrea Luka Zimmerman, Adrian Jackson (UK)

Moving Ahead

Moving Ahead Award
The Giverny Document (Single Channel) – Ja’Tovia M Gary (USA/France) (medium-length film)

Special Mentions
Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Jessica Sarah Rinland (UK/Argentina/Spain)
Osmosis - Zhou Tao (China)

First Feature

Swatch First Feature Award, award for the best first feature
Nafi’s Father – Mamadou Dia (Senegal)

Swatch Art Peace Hotel Award
La paloma y el lobo – Carlos Lenin (Mexico)

Special Mentions
Instinct [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Halina Reijn (Netherlands)
During Revolution [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
– Maya Khoury (Syria/Switzerland)

Pardi di domani

International Competition

Golden Pardino for Best International Short Film – SRG SSR Award
Black Sun – Arda Çiltepe (Turkey/Germany)

SRG SSR Silver Pardino for the International Competition
Umbilical – Danski Tang (USA)

Pardi di domani Best Director Award – PIANIFICA
Leave of Absence – Anton Sazonov (Russia)

Medien Patent Verwaltung AG Award 
White Afro – Akosua Adoma Owusu (Ghana/USA)

National Competition

Golden Pardino for Best Swiss Short Film – Swiss Life Award
Mama Rosa – Dejan Barac (Switzerland)

Swiss Life Silver Pardino for the National Competition
Tempête silencieuse – Anaïs Moog (Switzerland)

Best Swiss Newcomer Award
Terminal – Kim Allamand (Switzerland)

Other awards

Variety Piazza Grande Award
Instinct – Halina Reijn

Ecumenical Award
Maternal – Maura Delpero
Special Mention
Vitalina Varela – Pedro Costa

FIPRESCI Award
The Fever – Maya Da-Rin

Europa Cinemas Label
Maternal – Maura Delpero

SRG SSR/Critics’ Week Award
The Euphoria of Being [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Réka Szabó (Hungary)

Zonta Club Locarno Award
Adolescentes – Sébastien Lifshitz (France)

Youth Jury Award

First Prize
Echo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rúnar Rúnarsson
film profile
]
– Rúnar Rúnarsson (Iceland/France/Switzerland)

Second Prize
Maternal – Maura Delpero

Third Prize
Les enfants d’Isadora – Daniel Manivel

Special Mentions
Technoboss [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: João Nicolau
film profile
]
– João Nicolau (Portugal/France)
During Revolution
– Maya Khoury 

Second Youth Jury Awards (Pardi di domani)

For the International Competition
The Last Image of Father – Stefan Djordjevic (Serbia)

For the National Competition
Terminal – Kim Allamand

Special Mentions
Carne – Camila Kater (Brazil/Spain)
All Cats Are Grey in the Dark –
Lasse Linder (Switzerland)

Third Youth Jury Award (Filmmakers of the Present)
143 rue du désert – Hassen Ferhani
Special Mention
Space Dogs [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elsa Kremser, Levin Peter
film profile
]
– Elsa Kremser, Levin Peter (Austria/Germany)

“L’ambiente è qualità di vita” Award
The Fever – Maya Da-Rin

Residency Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur @ Villa Sträuli
Douma Underground – Tim Alsiofi (Lebanon/Syria)

(Translated from Italian)

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