Locarno International Film Festival

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Locarno International Film Festival
Piazza Grande Locarno.jpg
Location Locarno, Switzerland
Founded 1946
Awards Golden Leopard
Language International

The Film Festival Locarno[1] is an international film festival held annually in August in the city of Locarno, Switzerland since 1946. After Cannes and Venice and together with Karlovy Vary, Locarno is the Film Festival with the longest history and is accredited by FIAPF [2] (International Federation of Film Producers Association). The main feature of the festival is the open-air screening area at the Piazza Grande with room for over 8,000 spectators, having one of the largest open-air screens in the world (26x14 metres).

The top prize of the Festival is the Golden Leopard awarded to the best film in the international competition. Other awards include the Leopard of Honour for outstanding career achievements, and the Prix du Public UBS, the public choice award.

The Locarno Film Festival is well known worldwide as a festival of discovery. Throughout its history the festival has discovered new trends and launched the careers of numerous directors and actors. Although the festival aims at the films, rather than at stars and glamour, several well-known personalities of the international film industry have visited the Locarno International Film Festival in recent years. To name just a few: Willem Dafoe, Terry Gilliam, Anthony Hopkins, Aki Kaurismäki, Abbas Kiarostami, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Gregg Araki, John Malkovich, Carmen Maura, Rose McGowan, Frank Oz, Michel Piccoli, Robert Rodriguez, Susan Sarandon, Christian Slater, Alexander Sokurov, Wim Wenders, Gus Van Sant, Christopher Lee, Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, and Faye Dunaway.



The Festival del film Locarno kicked off on 23 August 1946, at the Grand Hotel of Locarno with the screening of the movie " ‘O sole mio " by Giacomo Gentilomo.[3] The first edition was organized in less than three months with a line-up of fifteen movies, mainly American and Italian, among which was Rome, Open City directed by Roberto Rossellini, And Then There Were None directed by René Clair (1945), Double Indemnity by Billy Wilder (1944) and The Song of Bernadette by Henry King (1943). Later, the Festival del film Locarno presented movies and short movies by many international directors such as Claude Chabrol, Stanley Kubrick, Paul Verhoeven, Miloš Forman, Marco Bellocchio, Glauber Rocha, Raul Ruiz, Alain Tanner, Mike Leigh, Béla Tarr, Chen Kaige, Edward Yang, Alexandr Sokurov, Atom Egoyan, Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee, Gregg Araki, Catherine Breillat, Abbas Kiarostami, Gus Van Sant, Pedro Costa, Fatih Akin, Claire Denis e Kim Ki-Duk.


Competitive Awards[edit]

Concorso internazionale (international competition) Awards[edit]

  • Pardo d'oro (Golden Leopard) – Festival Grand Prize from the City and Region of Locarno, for the best film in the Concorso internazionale (International Competition), that is shared equally between the director and the producer.
  • Special Jury Prize from the Cities of Ascona and Losone, for the second best film in the Concorso internazionale (International Competition), that is shared equally between the director and the producer.
  • Leopard for the Best Direction – Prize from the City and Region of Locarno, for the best directed film in the Concorso internazionale (International Competition), that is shared equally between the director and the producer.
  • Leopard for the Best Actress
  • Leopard for the best Actor

Concorso Cineasti del Presente (Filmmakers of the present) Awards[edit]

  • Pardo d'oro Cineasti del presente – George Foundation Prize: awarded to the best film of this competition which is dedicated to first or second features
  • CINÉ CINÉMA Special Jury Prize – Cineasti del presente: the French television channel CINÉCINÉMA offers the broadcast rights to the winning film and guarantees the broadcast on their channel.

Pardo per la Migliore Opera prima[edit]

Pardo per la Migliore Opera prima (Leopard for the Best First Feature), Prize on the City and Region of Locarno, that is shared equally between the director and the producer, for the best first film screened in the Concorso internazionale, the Concorso CIneasti del presente and the Piazza Grande section

Pardi di domani (Leopards of tomorrow) Awards[edit]

  • Pardino d‘oro for the Best International Short Film – SRG SSR Pize: awarded to the best short film in the International Short Film Competition Pardi di domani.
  • Pardino d‘oro for the Best Swiss Short Film – Swiss Life Prize: awarded to the best short film in the National Short Film Competition Pardi di domani.
  • Pardino d‘argento (Silver Pardino: offered by Swiss Life. The prize is to be shared by a Swiss film and a film of the International Competition Pardi di domani.
  • Locarno short film nominee for the European Film Awards – Pianifica Prize goes to a short film made by a European director, presented in one of the two competitions. The Award incluedes an automatic nomination in the short film category of the European Film Awards. Offered by the Studio Pianifica.
  • Action Light Prize for Best Swiss Newcomer: provides equipment offered Action Light,[4] Avant-première, EgliFilm, Film Demnächst, Kodak, Sound Design Studio, Swiss Effects, Taurus Studio, Titra Film and YAK Film.
  • Film and Video Subtitling Prize sponsored by the subtitling company Film und Video Untertitelung Gerhard Lehmann AG. The winning will be subtitled in three central European languages. This subtitling can be inserted on film, video or DVD format.
  • The "Cinema e Gioventù" Jury Prizes – Pardi di domani: offered by the Département for Education, Culture and Sport of Canton Ticino (DECS). Prices are to be shared by a Swiss film and a film of the International Short Film Compteition presented in the Pardi di domani (Leopards of Tomorrow).

Special Awards[edit]

Pardo d'onore Swisscom[edit]

For some 20 years now, Pardo d‘onore Swisscom (Leopard of Honour) has provided an opportunity to commend illustrious film directors, who embody the very idea of cinema which the Festival has supported so passionately since its inception: the best of auteur films, creative and audacious, with a strong vision and a personal style, endlessly reinventing itself. Locarno is proud to number amongst recipients of the Pardo d‘onore such master filmmakers as Jacques Rivette, Manoel de Oliveira, Samuel Fuller, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jean-Luc Godard, Daniel Schmid, Ken Loach, Ermanno Olmi, Terry Gilliam, Abbas Kiarostami, Wim Wenders, Aleksandr Sokurov, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Amos Gitai, William Friedkin and, in 2010, Alain Tanner, but also to Jia Zhangke.

Excellence Award Moët & Chandon[edit]

Every year this prestigious award celebrates one or more internationally acclaimed actors or actresses, who, through their work and talent, have enriched the cinema with their unique contribution. Since 2004, the Locarno Festival has been honoured to thus pay tribute to Oleg Menchikov, Susan Sarandon, John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Carmen Maura, Michel Piccoli, Toni Servillo and Chiara Mastroianni. Sponsored by Moët et Chandon.

The Best Independent Producer Award – Raimondo Rezzonico Prize[edit]

Wishing to highlight key figures in film and salute their courage and their ability to take a risk supporting auteurs, the Locarno Festival has already paid tribute with this award to the work of such renowned producers as Paulo Branco, Ruth Waldburger, Karl Baumgartner, Jeremy Thomas, the French collective Agat Films & Cie, Lita Stantic, Christine Vachon, Martine Marignac, Menahem Golan and, in 2011, Mike Medavoy. The Best Independent Producer Award was established in 2002 in memory of Raimondo Rezzonico, president of the event for almost twenty years. The Prize is offered by th City of Minusio.

Prix du Public UBS[edit]

The official jury is not the only one to hand out prizes at the Festival. Every night, the audience in Piazza Grande is on jury service, voting to decide the winner of the "Prix du public UBS".

Variety Piazza Grande Award[edit]

The Variety Piazza Grande Award is awarded by a jury of several of the American trade paper's critics who attend Locarno. It goes to a film screeened in the Piazza Grande programme as a world or international première. The prize recognises a film that stands out for both its artistic qualities and its potential for theatrical release. The award is intended to assist the international career of the selected film, thanks to Variety's connections with the film industry and its authority within the sector.

Direction and Management[edit]

Artistic Directors:

  • 1946-1958: Riccardo Bolla
  • 1960-1965: Vinicio Beretta
  • 1966: Sandro Bianconi
  • 1967-1970: Sandro Bianconi, Freddy Buache
  • 1971: Commission of direction, composed of seven members from Ticino
  • 1972-1977: Moritz de Hadeln
  • 1978-1981: Jean-Pierre Brossard
  • 1982-1991: David Streiff
  • 1992-2000: Marco Müller
  • 2000-2005: Irene Bignardi
  • 2005-2009: Frédéric Maire
  • 2010-2012: Olivier Père
  • Since 2012 : Carlo Chatrian [5] [6]


  • 1946-1955: Camillo Beretta
  • 1957-1962: Enrico Franzioni
  • 1963-1968: Fernando Gaja
  • 1970-1980: Luciano Giudici
  • 1981-1999: Raimondo Rezzonico
  • Since 2000: Marco Solari [7]

Chief Operating Officer:

  • Since May 2013: Mario Timbal [8]


The official poster of the Festival:


Some images of the Festival del film Locarno.


External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 46°10′11″N 8°47′46″E / 46.169623°N 8.796011°E / 46.169623; 8.796011