Locarno (dpa) – At the Locarno Film Festival, the historical drama “Revenge is Mine, Everyone Pays Cash” by Indonesian director Edwin won the main Golden Leopard award.
The feature film, co-funded by German producers, is artistically original and reflects Indonesian history in a thoughtful way, while asking compelling questions about gender equality.
As with the main prize, the juries of the 74th Lake Maggiore City International Film Festival in Switzerland mainly awarded individual works and achievements that were both attractive and demanding. The Audience Award went to an Austrian anti-war thriller: “Hinterland” by Stefan Ruzowitzky. Matthias Schweighöfer stars in the film. In 2008, Ruzowitzky won the Oscar for best non-English-speaking film with his work “The Counterfeiters”.
Young talent competition award
Saskia Rosendahl, who can currently be seen in theaters in the Kästner film adaptation of Dominik Graf’s “Fabian or the Dog Walk”, won the award for best actress in the “Cineasti del presente” competition for young people . In the film adaptation of the novel “Nobody is with the calves” by the German-Iranian director Sabrina Sarabi, she plays a woman grappling with life in the countryside. Rosendahl said: “I would like to share the prize with the whole crew, because we know filming is a team effort.”
The German producers achieved another success with the international co-production “Zeros and Ones”. Hollywood legend Abel Ferrara (“Bad Lieutenant”) received the award for best director, even though this political thriller starring Ethan Hawke sparked much controversy from audiences and critics due to its tight narrative style.
Special Jury Prize
The awarding of the special prize by the jury of the main competition to the history painting “A New Old Play” by Chinese director Qiu Jiongjiong met with more unanimous approval. Qiu Jiongjiong, previously visual artist and documentary maker, is making his debut as a feature film director. It surprises with an almost magical poetry insofar as it does not offer realistic images, but only scenes from theatrical sets.
Newcomer Anastasiya Krasovskaya was named best actress in the main competition comprising 17 films from the midstudy “Gerda” by director Natalya Kudryashova (Russia). Equally acclaimed was the honor of Mohamed Mellali and Valero Escolar in the hard-hitting workers’ comedy “Sis dies corrents” (“Men with odd jobs”) by Spanish director Neus Ballús.
The winners, announced in the afternoon, were presented on Saturday evening in Piazza Grande in the Ticino resort.
It was only there that the thousands of visitors to the open-air gala were announced which film had won the Audience Award, awarded by the audience’s vote. In Ruzowitzky’s formally elaborate film “Hinterland”, German film star Matthias Schweighöfer (“Keinohrhasen”, “End-maker”, “100 things”) surprises as a character performer. The audience’s prize is won by a film screened out of competition on the square.
At the end
At the end of the festival, Italian director Daria Argento (80), best known for countless horror films like “Suspiria” (1977), received a leopard of honor for all of his work. He was introduced to him by legendary Hollywood director John Landis (“Blues Brothers”). The Landis, 71, had already received an honorary award from the festival on Friday evening.
In 2021, the Locarno Festival with the new artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro managed to satisfy not only moviegoers, but also mass tastes, despite the difficult conditions caused by the pandemic. In an interview with “Tagblatt”, the critic and festival director said: “I have always found the supposed opposition between auteur cinema and entertainment a bit strained.” And almost incidentally, Nazzaro was clear: No matter how good the digital offerings are, they cannot replace the real cinematic experience.
As the festival reported on Sunday, 78,600 spectators attended the screenings over the eleven days. 29,700 spectators were counted in Piazza Grande and 48,900 in cinemas (around 50% less than in 2019, which is also due to the reduced capacity of auditoriums due to protective measures). The 75th Locarno Film Festival is scheduled for August 3-13, 2022.