A Major Event
Throughout its history, the Festival del film Locarno has occupied a unique position in the landscape of the major film festivals. Every August, for eleven days the Swiss-Italian town of Locarno, right in the heart of Europe, becomes the world capital of auteur cinema. Thousands of film fans and industry professionals meet here every summer to share their thirst for new discoveries and a passion for cinema in all its diversity. At Locarno they find a quality programme, rich, eclectic, surprising, and where emerging talent rubs shoulders with prestigious guests. The audience is the soul of the Festival, as exemplified in the famous evenings on the Piazza Grande, whose magical setting can accommodate up to 8,000 filmgoers every night. Geographically located at the crossroads of three great European regions, (Italian, German and French), Locarno is, precisely because of its enormous and multi-cultural audience, a unique launch platform for new films from all over the world.
Thus for industry professionals Locarno is an unmissable rendezvous and a landmark in the festival calendar: an invaluable meeting-place, and opportunity to unearth the gems from a challenging selection of world premières, to take the pulse of new tendencies, and explore new terrain opening up in contemporary cinema.
Media coverage lives up the promise of the event. The Festival is closely chronicled by media from all over the world –including Le Monde, Libération, La Repubblica, Die Welt, El Pais, The Guardian, The Independent, all the specialist press –including Screen International, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Le Film français, Les Cahiers du cinéma, Sight and Sound, not to mention the whole of the Swiss press.
The Locarno Touch: A Unique Experience
Located on the banks of Lake Maggiore at the foot of the Alps, the medieval town of Locarno welcomes festival-goers to a truly idyllic setting. The delegations accompanying invited films, distinguished guests and industry professionals all appreciate the event’s relaxed and convivial atmosphere, where the dolce vita combines with professionalism, seriousness and quality of service. At Locarno, the whole town participates in the festival; and the festival thrives on the energy generated by so many festival encounters.
Filmmakers, actors and producers accompany the première of their film and meet Locarno’s exceptionally cinephile and eager audience at riveting Q & A sessions. The film and cultural personalities who are invited enjoy a pleasant stay, the human warmth of the festival, and inter-action with an audience full of respect and passion for film, with whom they engage during the traditional must-see masterclasses that are open to all. And, far removed from the usual stress, industry professionals from all over the world find conditions here that are ideal for productive networking, whether at the various workshops or the informal happy hours organised by the Industry Office. Enhanced by such exchanges, and determined to maintain its integrity, the Festival del film Locarno, totally dedicated to cinema and those who make it, is a truly pleasurable experience.
A Cutting Edge Festival
Founded in 1946, the Festival del film Locarno is one of the oldest film festivals in the world, alongside Venice and Cannes. Created as a festival aiming to discover new talent and new trends, Locarno has established itself on the international scene, as an invaluable launch-pad for the new generation in world cinema. Locarno has often spotted, before many others have done so, the genius of young directors from all over the world – sometimes from their very first short films – who have subsequently established themselves as the major filmmakers of their generation: examples include Claude Chabrol, Stanley Kubrick, Paul Verhoeven, Milos Forman, Marco Bellocchio, Glauber Rocha, Raul Ruiz, Alain Tanner, Mike Leigh, Bela Tarr, Chen Kaige, Edward Yang, Aleksander Sokurov, Atom Egoyan, Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee, Gregg Araki, Catherine Breillat, Abbas Kiarostami, Gus Van Sant, Pedro Costa, Fatih Akin, Claire Denis, Kim Ki-Duk, and many others.
The event has succeeded in remaining faithful to its vocation. With an illustrious history behind it, and resolutely facing the future, the Festival del film Locarno is, now more than ever, synonymous with discovery and innovation. Attentive to all the developments in contemporary cinema, in a ceaseless quest for the most innovative productions of the moment, the Festival is renowned for its programming, that is both open-minded and demanding, with many world and international premières. From studio blockbusters to total indies, from genre films to experimental cinema, and the best documentaries and shorts, the Locarno selection sets the benchmark by presenting, every year, the major auteurs of today and tomorrow.
CONCORSO INTERNAZIONALE (INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION) AWARDS
Pardo d'oro (Golden Leopard) – Festival Grand Prize from the City and Region of Locarno, for the best film in the Concorso internazionale: 90,000 CHF to be shared equally between the director and the producer.
Special Jury Prize from the Cities of Ascona and Losone, for the second best film in the Concorso internazionale: 30,000 CHF to be shared equally between the director and the producer.
Leopard for the Best Direction – Prize from the City and Region of Locarno, for the best directed film in the Concorso internazionale: 30,000 CHF for the director.
Leopard for the Best Actress
Leopard for the Best Actor
CONCORSO CINEASTI DEL PRESENTE (FILMMAKERS OF THE PRESENT) AWARDS
Pardo d'oro Cineasti del presente – George Foundation Prize: 40,000 CHF to be shared equally between the director and the producer, awarded to the best film of this competition, which is dedicated to first or second features.
CINÉ + Special Jury Prize – Cineasti del presente: the French television channel Ciné+ Club offers 30,000 CHF for the broadcast rights to the winning film and guarantees the broadcast on their channel. This amount, allocated to the distributor, is conditional on the film obtaining a commercial theatrical release in France within a two year period from the screening of the film at the Festival del film Locarno 2012.
Pardo per il miglior regista emergente: Prize from the City of Lugano: 20,000 CHF for the best new director.
PARDO PER LA MIGLIORE OPERA PRIMA
Pardo per la Migliore Opera prima (Leopard for the Best First Feature), Prize from the City and Region of Locarno (30,000 CHF to be shared equally between the director and the producer) for the best first film screened in the Concorso internazionale, the Concorso Cineasti del presente and in the Piazza Grande section.
PARDI DI DOMANI (LEOPARDS OF TOMORROW) AWARDS (short films)
Pardino d’oro for the Best International Short Film – Premio SRG SSR idée suisse (10,000 CHF): awarded to the best short film in the International competition Pardi di domani.
Pardino d’oro for the Best Swiss Short Film – Premio Swiss Life (10,000 CHF): awarded to the best short film in the National competition Pardi di domani.
Pardino d’argento Swiss Life for the International competition: 5,000 CHFfor a film in the International competition Pardi di domani.
Pardino d’argento Swiss Life for the National competition: 5,000 CHFfor a film in the National competition Pardi di domani.
Locarno short film nominee for the European Film Awards - Pianifica Prize goes to a short film made by a European director, presented in one of the two competitions. The award includes an automatic nomination in the short fi lm category of the European Film Awards and is worth 2’000 chf, kindly offered by the Studio Pianifica.
Action Light Prize for Best Swiss Newcomer: offered by Action Light, Avant-première SA/ Film Demnächst AG, SDS AG, Swiss Effects AG, EgliFilm AG, Titra Film SA, Taurus Studio.
Film and Video Subtitling Prize sponsored by the subtitling company Film und Video Untertitelung Gerhard Lehmann AG. The winning will be subtitled in three central European languages. This subtitling can be inserted on film, video or DVD format.