With performances under the stars for thousands of moviegoers, Locarno is one of the most beautiful film festivals in the world. The opening of the 74th edition was however marked by rain.

Locarno (dpa) – The opening gala of the 74th International Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland, could not take place outdoors in the evening, as tradition has it.

Only a few weatherproof moviegoers watched the live broadcast in the city’s Piazza Grande. The rain forced the majority of the audience into the covered cinema of the festival.

The opening film “Beckett”, screened out of competition, created a good atmosphere. It is the first feature film directed by the Italian Ferdinando Cito Filomarino as a director. Hollywood star John David Washington (“Tenet”), son of Oscar winner Denzel Washington (“Malcolm X”), stars.

Germany represented in all areas

German cinema is represented in all sections of the festival, which presents 209 short films, feature films and documentaries until August 14. Thanks to international co-productions, Germany is particularly present as a country of successful producers. Hollywood director Abel Ferrara’s (“Bad Lieutenant”) thriller “Zeros and Ones” starring Ethan Hawke (“Boyhood”) is highly anticipated from these films.

German-Iranian director Sabrina Sarabi’s German film “Nobody is with Calves” (“Prelude”) will have its world premiere in the “Cineasti del presente” (filmmakers of the present) competition. In the film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Alina Herbing, Saskia Rosendahl (“Fabian or the dog walk”) plays the main role of a young woman who tries to master life in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania between hopes and defeats.

Popular outdoor shows

The evening outdoor shows in the picturesque Piazza Grande are likely to have the greatest number of visitors. The films here are usually set outside of all competitions for up to 9,000 viewers. Due to hygiene rules due to the corona pandemic, the number of seats has been reduced to a maximum of 5,000 this year. Germany is mainly represented on the square by well-known actors in films by directors from other countries. Julia Jentsch plays one of the main roles in the historical drama “Monte Verità” by Swiss director Stefan Jäger.

Competition should be strong. Italian Giona A. Nazzaro (56), who is running the festival for the first time, stressed in advance that it mainly focuses on films with a large audience, on pleasant cinema. Celebrity rewards with special prizes are meant to provide glamor. It all started on the opening night with the honor of French actress Laetitia Casta (“Gainsbourg – The man who loved women”). Hollywood star director John Landis (“Blues Brothers”) will also be in the spotlight during the festival, which runs through August 14.