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Locarno Film Festival 2016: ‘Godless’ Wins Top Jury Prize, ‘I, Daniel Blake’ Takes Audience Award

Joao Pedro Rodrigues was awarded the best director award for "The Ornithologist."

Ralitza Petrova Locarno Film Festival

Courtesy of Locarno Film Festival

The 69th annual Locarno Film Festival finally concluded after eleven days and screenings of 279 films, and awarded its Palmarès. The Golden Leopard went to “Godless,” a first feature from Bulgaria’s Ralitza Petrova. The film portrait of the criminal underbelly of Bulgaria also took home Best Actress for Irena Ivanova.

The fest jury awarded João Pedro Rodrigues Best Director for “O Ornitólogo.” Romanian director Radu Jude won the Special Jury Prize for his film “Inimi Cicatrizate” (Scarred Hearts), which was inspired by the 1937 Max Blecher novel.

READ MORE: João Pedro Rodrigues’ ‘The Ornithologist’ Will Blow Your Mind — Locarno Review

The public favorite, Ken Loach’s “I, Daniel Blake,” about a UK retiree struggling to obtain medical assistance from the state, won the Audience Award; at Cannes, Indiewire’s Eric Kohn dubbed the film “Loach’s best movie in years.” 

READ MORE: Cannes Review: Why ‘I, Daniel Blake’ is Ken Loach’s Best Movie in Years

This year’s lineup featured a slew of well-received movies from female filmmakers. Out of the 17 premieres in competition for the main prize, eight were helmed by women, and two of the three Locarno First Feature prize winners were directed by women.

For artistic director Carlo Chatrian, the 69th festival “gambled on a number of fronts,” he said, “from a more adventurous program on the Piazza to the competitions that gave pride of place to young filmmakers. The positive response, from both audiences and critics alike, has encouraged us to continue with this approach. We want Locarno to be, as it has been over these eleven exciting days, a place to show films which place human beings, in all their multi-faceted dimensions, front and center, films that provoke both discussion and strong emotion; and at the same time, a meeting place for major artists who are able to deliver strong messages, and a warm and receptive audience.”

See the full list of winners below:

Concorso internazionale

Pardo d’oro
“Godless” by Ralitza Petrova, Bulgaria/Denmark/France

Premio speciale della giuria (Special Jury Prize)
“Inimi Cicatrizate” (Scarred Hearts) by Radu Jude, Romania/Germany

Pardo per la miglior regia (Best direction)
João Pedro Rodrigues for “O Ornitólogo,” Portugal/France/Brazil

Pardo per la miglior interpretazione femminile (Best actress)
Irena Ivanova for “Godless” by Ralitza Petrova, Bulgaria/Denmark/France

Pardo per la miglior interpretazione maschile (Best actor)
Andrzej Seweryn for “Ostatnia Rodzina” (The Last Family) by Jan P. Matuszyński, Poland

Special Mention
“Mister Universo” by Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel, Austria/Italy
Concorso Cineasti del presente

READ MORE: Locarno: What Movies Can Teach Us About the Way We See the World

Pardo d’oro Cineasti del presente – Premio Nescens
“El Auge Del Humano” by Eduardo Williams, Argentina/Brazil/Portugal

Premio speciale della giuria Ciné+ Cineasti del presente (Special Jury Prize)
“The Challenge” by Yuri Ancarani, Italy/France/Switzerland

Premio per il miglior regista emergente (Prize for the best emerging director)
Mariko Tetsuya for “Destruction Babies,” Japan

Special Mention
“Viejo Calavera” by Kiro Russo, Bolivia/Qatar

First Feature

Swatch First Feature Award (Prize for Best First Feature)
“El Futuro Perfecto” by Nele Wohlatz, Argentina

Swatch Art Peace Hotel Award
“Maud Alpi for Gorge Cœur Ventre,” France

Special Mention
“El Auge Del Humano” by Eduardo Williams, Argentina/Brazil/Portugal
Pardi di domani

Concorso internazionale

Pardino d’oro per il miglior cortometraggio internazionale – Premio SRG SSR
“L’immense Retour (Romance)” by Manon Coubia, Belgium/France

Pardino d’argento SRG SSR per il Concorso internazionale
“Cilaos” by Camilo Restrepo, France

Locarno Nomination for the European Film Awards – Premio Pianifica
“L’immense Retour (Romance)” by Manon Coubia, Belgium/France

Premio Film und Video Untertitelung
“Valparaiso” by Carlo Sironi, Italy

Special Mention
“Non Castus” by Andrea Castillo, Chile

Concorso nazionale

Pardino d’oro per il miglior cortometraggio svizzero – Premio Swiss Life
“Die Brücke Über Den Fluss” by Jadwiga Kowalska, Switzerland

Pardino d’argento Swiss Life per il Concorso nazionale
“Genesis” by Lucien Monot, Switzerland

Best Swiss Newcomer Award
“La Sève” by Manon Goupil, Switzerland
Prix du Public UBS

“I, Daniel Blake” by Ken Loach, United Kingdom/France/Belgium
Variety Piazza Grande Award

“Moka” by Frédéric Mermoud, France/Switzerland

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