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Locarno Festival Sets Slate for 57th Year

Locarno Festival Sets Slate for 57th Year

Locarno Festival Sets Slate for 57th Year

by Wendy Mitchell

Gotz Spielmann’s “Antares” from Austria is one of the 18 films in the international competition at Locarno 2004. Photo courtesy of the festival.

Festival organizers have announced the lineup for the 57th edition of the Locarno International Film Festival, which will be held in the Swiss town from August 4-14. The fest will show hundreds of films, with a whopping 91 titles just in the retrospective “Newsfront.” That program explores the relations between film and journalism and will include a short film from 1899 up through 2004 faves “Control Room” and “The Hunting of the President.”

The 18 films in the international competition, vying for cash prizes and the festival’s Golden and Silver Leopard prizes for directing, producing, and acting, are all international or world premieres. The competition includes Zak Tucker‘s Tribeca Film Festival hit “Poster Boy” (U.S.), Catarina Ruivo‘s “Andre Valente” (Portugal), Anurag Kashyap‘s “Black Friday” (India), Ian Gabriel‘s “Forgiveness” (South Africa), Toe Yuen‘s animated “McDull, Prince De La Bun” (Hong Kong), Gotz Spielmann‘s “Antares” (Austria), and others from across the globe.

The video competition will include Sundance‘s controversial mockumentary “CSA: The Confederate States of America” by Kevin Wilmott; Sundance award winner “Down to the Bone” by Debra Granik; Jan Nemec‘s “Landscape of My Heart” from the Czech Republic; the Lebanese-French co-production “Conversation De Salon, 1-2-3” by Danielle Arbid; Italian feature “About the House” by Jacopo Gassman; and more.

The Filmmakers of the Present section features both 35mm and video formats. Films include stunt documentary “Cesky Sen” (Czech Dream) by Vit Klusak and Filip Remunda, Ondi Timoner‘s band doc “Dig!,” Neil Young‘s “Greendale,” Diego Lerman‘s Argentine feature “Guerra de Los Gimnasios,” Robert Greenwald‘s “Uncovered: The War on Iraq,” Zak Penn‘s Seattle winning Werner Herzog doc “Incident at Loch Ness,” Eugene Green‘s French film “Le Pont Des Arts,” and Gen Sekiguchi‘s “Survive Style 5+,” among others.

The catch-all Piazza Grande program includes anything from the 1976 classic “All the President’s Men” to the world premiere of Patrice Leconte‘s latest film, “Dogora,” to Nick Cassavetes‘ romance “The Notebook.” Locarno 2004 will open with “Les fautes d’orthographe,” a French drama by Jean-Jacques Zilbermann starring Carol Bouquet and Olivier Gourmet; and Japanese animated film “Applessed” will close the event.

Dozens of Swiss films will play in various sections including the Leopards of Tomorrow New Swiss Talents section of 21 short features. The Leopards of Tomorrow, which this year is devoted to French-language works, will recognize short- and medium-length films by young indie directors or film students.

Swiss films are also shown in the Swiss Cinema Rediscovered section, with restored works from the 1940s, and the Appelations Suisse 2004 section, with 11 recent Swiss docs and narratives.

Tributes this year include the Leopard of Honor for Italian filmmaker Ermanno Olmi (“Il Posto,” “The Tree of Wooden Clogs.”) The Raimondo Rezzonico award for independent producer of the year will go to Karl Baumgartner of Pandora Film, who has worked with filmmakers including Kim Ki-duk, Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurismaki, and Emir Kusturica.

The festival will pay tribute to the late Marlon Brando with a screening of Gillo Pontecorvo‘s 1969 film “Quiemada” (Burn!). The Open Doors program is this year devoted to films from the Mekong Delta (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos). A Human Rights program and panel will include multiple festival-award-winner “Born Into Brothels” as well as Israeli doc “Garden,” and a South African film about Nelson Mandela, marking the 10th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections.

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