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“Winter Vacation” Wins Top Prize at Locarno Fest

"Winter Vacation" Wins Top Prize at Locarno Fest

Chinese director Li Hongqi took home the Pardo d’oro, or Golden Leopard, for his film, “Han Jia” (Winter Vacation), closing out the 63rd Locarno Film Festival. French/Romanian/Hungarian production “Morgen” by Marian Crisan received a Special Jury Prize, while Denis Côté was named Best Director for his feature, “Curling.” The prize included 30,000 CHF and the Golden Leopard included a 90,000 CHF cash prize.

In other prizes, Emmanuel Bilodeau received the best actor award for his role in “Curling,” while Jasna Duricic was named best actress for her role in “Beli Beli Svet” (White White World) by Oleg Novkovic, Serbia/Germany/Sweden. “Foreign Parts” by Verena Paravel and JP Sniadecki won Best First Feature, while Kitao Sakurai’s “Aardvark” received a special mention.

Li’s “Winter Vacation” centers on four idle, aimless adolescents who gather at Zhou Zhixin’s home. According to a Locarno description, the teenagers are hoping to enjoy their last day of holiday and want to hang out in this place where nothing ever seems likely to happen. Their conversations are desultory and they sometimes seem to argue for argument’s sake. One of them, Laowu, talks frankly with his girlfriend about how teenage love might affect their studies, while Laobao questions school’s value and relevance to real life. The film also won the FIPRESCI competition, whith fellow Chinese production, “Kamaray” by Xu Xin receiving a special mention.

List of Locarno Winners:

“Aardvark” director Kitao Sakurai with producer Andrew Barchilon. Image provided by the festival

Golden Leopard: International Competition
“An Jia” (Winter Vacation) by LI Hongqi, China

Special Jury Prize
“Morgen” by Marian Crisan, France/Romania/Hungary

Best Director
Denis Côté for “Curling,” Canada

Leopard for Best Actress
Jasna Duricic in “Beli Beli Svet” (White White World) by Oleg Novkovic, Serbia/Germany/Sweden

Leopard for Best Actor
Emmanuel Bilodeau in “Curling” by Denis Côté, Canada

Golden Leopard: Filmmakers of the Present Competition
“Paraboles” by Emmanuelle Demoris, France

Special CINÉ CINÉMA Jury Prize
“Foreign Parts” by Verena Paravel and JP Sniadecki, USA/France

Special Mention:
“Ivory Tower” by Adam Traynor, Canada/France

Leopard for the Best First Feature
“2Foreign Parts” by Verena Paravel and JP Sniadecki, USA/France

Special Mention:
“Aardvark” by Kitao Sakurai, USA/Argentina

Prix du Public UBS
“The Human Resources Manager” by Eran Riklis, Israel/Germany/France

Variety Piazza Grande Award
“Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale” by Jalmari Helander, Finnland/Norway/France/Sweden

FIPRESCI Prize
“Han Jia” (Winter Vacation) by LI Hongqi, China

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