Every summer, Locarno becomes the global capital of art house cinema. For this year's 72nd edition of the event, held from August 7 through 17, around fifteen majority-French productions and coproductions, and as many minority coproductions, as well as twelve short films (including VR works) will be screened in the Swiss city.
This year, France already has a strong presence at the festival in its juries, with Catherine Breillat president of the Concorso Internazionale jury, Yolande Zauberman a jury member in the Concorso Cineasti del Presente, and Alice Diop a jury member in the Pardi di Domani short film section.
As is the case each year, the festival will welcome a large number of French actors, directors, and producers, who will present their work to loyal audiences who are always keen to discover new films and new filmmakers. Scheduled to attend (tbc): Valérie Donzelli, Jeanne Balibar, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Béart, Pierre Deladonchamps, Louis-Do De Lencquesaing, Anaïs Demoustier, Nina Meurisse, Marthe Keller, Marie Losier, Sébastien Lifshitz, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmèche, Agathe Bonitzer, Virgil Vernier, Nadège Trebal, along with many others.
We can note that the editor Claire Atherton, who has collaborated on many films by Chantal Akerman, will receive a Vision Award for her outstanding career. Atherton will also be present for the screening of Un film dramatique by Éric Baudelaire, which will be shown in the Moving Ahead section.
UniFrance in Locarno
UniFrance will be out in force in Locarno once again this year. A cocktail reception will be held at the beginning of the festival, organized in collaboration with the French Embassy in Switzerland and the French Consulate General in Zürich, which will bring together crew members from the films presented at the festival, distributors, and sales agents.
Three French productions (including majority-coproductions) will be vying for the Golden Leopard Award in the Official Competition: South Terminal by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmèche, Isadora's Children by Damien Manivel, and Twelve Thousand by Nadège Trebal.
The prestigious Piazza Grande, which can seat 8,000 spectators, will screen the latest films by Valérie Donzelli (Notre Dame), Stéphane Demoustier (The Girl with a Bracelet), and Boris Lojkine (Camille), as well as The Bears' Famous Invasion by Lorenzo Mattotti, which was presented at Cannes this year in the Un Certain Regard section.
Jeanne Balibar will present her debut film as a director, Wonders in the Suburbs, in the Cineasti del Presente section, accompanied by Mathieu Amalric, Ramzy Bedia, and Emmanuelle Béart, while Louis-Do De Lencquesaing will be in attendance for the screening of The Holy Family in the Fuori Concorso section.
Furthermore, around a dozen French short films (including coproductions) are competing in the Fuori Concorso Shorts, Moving Ahead Shorts, and Pardi di Domani sections, with French VR represented by Viens! by Michel Reilhac.
Repertory films will be in the spotlight in the retrospective section Black Lights, which will give spectators the chance to discover, or rediscover, classics of "black" cinema, such as West Indies by Med Hondo, Daïnah la métisse by Jean Grémillon, Little by Little by Jean Rouch, and Black Orpheus by Marcel Camus, to name but a few titles.
French Films at the 72nd Locarno International Film Festival
Concorso Cineasti del Presente