65th Festival del film Locarno Begins

The 65th edition of the Festival del film Locarno will open Aug. 1. At the traditional Welcome Cocktail, President Marco Solari and Artistic Director Olivier Père will open this edition, in the presence of the numerous directors, actors and film professionals who are guests of the Festival.

The opening ceremony will take place on the Piazza Grande at 9:30 p.m., beginning with a presentation of the official juries of the three competitions and a preview screening of extracts from films in the Concorso internazionale, followed by the presentation of the Excellence Award Moët & Chandon to British actress Charlotte Rampling, and then the world premiere screening of the British thriller “The Sweeney,” introduced by director Nick Love and the actor Ray Winstone. The Festival has also organized, along with the director and choreographer Daniele Finzi Pasca, a surprise to celebrate the Switzerland’s National 1 August holiday.

The Festival del film Locarno will take place Aug. 1 to 11 and the program includes approximately 300 films (fiction, documentary and shorts) from over 50 different countries. In addition to the three official competitions, 15 tributes to major film figures will enable the audience to discover their work and get a better sense of the artists via screenings and conversations that are open to all. The complete Otto Preminger retrospective will be enhanced by discussions with guests and film critics, a round table and a book published by Capricci about the Hollywood director’s work.

Over 11 evenings, the Piazza Grande will welcome major figures from the film world and show fifteen films for the wider audience – most of them world or international premières – introduced by their directors and casts.

Guests attending the 65th edition include: actors Alain Delon, Charlotte Rampling, Harry Belafonte, Gael García Bernal, Dree Hemingway, Alexandra Maria Lara, Elio Germano, Valerio Mastandrea, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Lizzy Caplan, Eric Cantona, Rachida Brakni, Ornella Muti, Ingrid Caven, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Ray Winstone and Renato Pozzetto, filmmakers Leos Carax, JIA Zhang-ke, Souleymane Cissé, Bertrand Bonello, Krzysztof Zanussi, Claire Denis, Ulrich Seidl, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Roger Avary, the American producer Arnon Milchan and Johnnie To, producer/director from Hong Kong, Italian singer-songwriter Gianni Morandi and Australian pop icon Kylie Minogue.

A foretaste of the Festival has been made possible through the now well-established Prefestival: free films on the Piazza Grande.

Following last night’s successful free screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 masterpiece “Rear Window,” in celebration of the Universal Pictures’ centenary, and shown last night thanks to support from Valora, attracting an audience of almost 4000 people to the Piazza Grande on July 31, will see the Prefestival’s second free film evening, supported by UBS.

For the occasion, the actress Elsa Martinelli will introduce Raffaello Matarazzo’s film “La Risaia (1956), in which she stars. The same evening there will also be a screening of the long unseen Dino Risi short film “1848” (1949), and the most recent film by Swiss filmmaker Korinna Sehringer, “Shouting Secrets” (2011).

The 65th edition of the Festival del film Locarno will conclude with the official awards ceremony on the Piazza Grande on Aug. 11.

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