If you are in the southern part of Switzerland at the beginning of August and you like cinema, especially auteur cinema, you don’t want to miss the “Festival del Film Locarno“. Yesterday, Wednesday the 6th 2014, was the kickoff of the 67th edition of the Festival, also known as “Pardo”. This film festival occupies a “unique position in the landscape of the major film festivals” and every August, for eleven days, Locarno becomes “the world capital of auteur cinema”.
Thousands of film fans and industry professionals meet here every summer to share their thirst for new discoveries and a passion for cinema in all its diversity.
The exceptional audience is the soul of the Festival whose major attraction are the famous evenings on the Piazza Grande where films are viewed on a 26 x 14 m (364 m 2 ) screen, the biggest open air screen in Europe.
The setting on the Piazza Grande with more than 8,000 filmgoers every night is magical and the multicultural audience is a perfect launch platform for new films from all over the world. Many gems from a challenging selection are shown in world premières and you can literally feel the pulse of new tendencies. Like every other Film festival, you can spend whole days viewing films in many venues in Locarno (Auditorium Fevi, La Sala, L’altra Sala, Ex *Rex, Teatro Kursaal, Rialto, PalaVideo). To recharge batteries between the screenings, you have a great selection of premises.
The program of this years festival comprises a rich menu of world, international or Swiss premieres (on the Piazza Grande), fiction and documentary features, devoted to first and second features (fiction and documentaries), two short films competitions (Concorso internazionale and Concorso nazionale) and special programs. There is also a selection of works exploring new narrative forms and innovative film language. Under “Fuori Concorso” you can find screenings of shorts and feature films by well-established filmmakers that have a non-standard format. The “Film speciali” are dedicated to the personalities awarded at the Festival and “Histoire(s) du cinéma” are tributes, documentaries about cinema, screenings of restored prints and Cinema svizzero riscoperto (rediscovered Swiss cinema). “Film delle giurie” are films featuring or made by members of the main juries, “Restrospettiva Titanus” are retrospectives dedicated to the Italian production studio Titanus and the “Open Doors” is a program of films from Sub-Saharan Africa selected by the Festival’s coproduction lab. The “Semaine de la critique” comprises an independent section of documentaries and the “Panorama Suisse” an independent section dedicated to Swiss films. – You can find the whole program here.
I can’t attend the whole Festival this year, but really enjoyed the opening ceremony yesterday with Luc Besson, Melany Griffith and Jean-Pierre Léaud (who received the Pardo alla Carriera) and the Première of “Lucy” by Luc Besson.
On Pardo-Live you can follow the event day by day.
Cfr. Media coverage lives up the promise of the event. The Festival is closely chronicled by media from all over the world –including Le Monde, Libération, La Repubblica, Die Welt, El Pais, The Guardian, The Independent, all the specialist press –including Screen International, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Le Film français, Les Cahiers du cinéma, Sight and Sound, not to mention the whole of the Swiss press.