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LOCARNO 2022 Competition / Out of Competition

The 75th edition of the Locarno Film Festival presents itself as “a new beginning”

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- Two debut films and a large number of European features by young directors and well-known names will be vying for the Golden Leopard at the 75th Locarno Film Festival

The 75th edition of the Locarno Film Festival presents itself as “a new beginning”
Human Flowers of Flesh by Helena Wittmann (© Fünferfilm/Shellac)

The 75th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place from 3-13 August, an anniversary experienced as an "ideal starting ribbon" by director Giona A. Nazzaro, in his second year at the helm of the Swiss festival, and his team. The cinema, experienced as "the heart of our doing and being, while everything changes," to quote Nazzaro, is transformed into an anchor to which to cling in order to look at the complexity of the future with a certain serenity. Particularly celebrated this year are young directors, with a conspicuous number of first films: 19 in total, 2 in the International Competition, 3 in Piazza Grande, and no less than 12 out of 15 in the Cineasti del Presente competition, vying for the First Film prize.

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As many as 226 films will be screened this year, including 105 world premieres and 3 international premieres. Among the personalities honoured during this anniversary edition will be American director Kelly Reichardt (Pardo d'onore 2022), one of the most original and independent voices in contemporary American cinema. The Pardo alla carriera of this 75th edition will instead be dedicated to the immense French-Greek filmmaker Costa-Gavras. The Lifetime Achievement Award will go to actor Matt Dillon, while US producer Jason Blum will receive the Premio Raimondo Rezzonico award for Best Independent Producer. New this year is the launch of the Locarno Green Project, whose initiatives include the WWF Pardo Verde, which will be awarded to a work in competition that reflects an ecological theme, and the Green Film Fund in support of films that address environmental issues (read the news).

The 17 films in the International Competition include a conspicuous number of first works and films by young directors making their second or third feature film. This year's debuts are De noche los gatos son pardos [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, by the Swiss Valentin Merz, a sort of intriguing detective story revolving around the shooting of a libertine film, and the co-production between Belgium, France and Costa Rica Tengo sueños eléctricos [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Valentina Maurel
film profile
]
, a picturesque family portrait by the Belgian-trained Costa Rican director Valentina Maurel. Italy will be present this year with two co-productions by directors in their third feature film: The Adventures of Gigi the Law [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 (Italy/France/Belgium) by Alessandro Comodin (Golden Leopard in the 2011 Cineasti del presente competition with Summer of Giacomo [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), a documentary about his uncle, a country policeman, and Il pataffio [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 (Italy/Belgium) by Franco Lagi, a tragicomic story about a group of peasants and fallen lords in a Middle Ages marked by wolf-like hunger. There are also numerous French films between productions and co-productions, including Stella in Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sylvie Verheyde
film profile
]
by Sylvie Verheyde (sequel to her previous film Stella [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
from 2008) starring Marina Foïs, Benjamin Biolay and Flavie Delangle, which follows the vicissitudes of a 16-year-old teenager, and the political thriller Bowling Saturne [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Patricia Mazuy (France/Belgium). Also co-produced with France are Human Flowers of Flesh [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Helena Wittmann
film profile
]
, the second feature by German director Helena Wittmann, which depicts Ida's exploration of the closed world of the Foreign Legion, and Tommy Guns [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Carlos Conceição
film profile
]
by Angolan-born Portuguese director Carlos Conceição, about the end of the colonial war in his homeland, the erotic film about a young lawyer interested in women's rights titled Rule 34 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Portuguese director Julia Murat (Brazil/France) and the Lebanon, Iraq and France co-production Tales of the Purple House [+see also:
trailer
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]
by Iraqi-French director Abbas Fahdel. Austria and Germany will be present with two and one films respectively: Serviam – I Will Serve [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Ruth Mader, a story about a Catholic boarding school attended by the Austrian elite and led by a dynamic abbess, Matter Out of Place [+see also:
trailer
interview: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
film profile
]
 by Nikolaus Geyrhalter, a documentary on the problem of waste and the desperate efforts undertaken to solve it, and Piaffe [+see also:
film review
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]
 by German artist and director Ann Oren. Also of note among the European films in the International Competition are the Belgian-Russian co-production Fairytale [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Aleksandr Sokurov and Sermon to the Fish [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Azerbaijan/Mexico/Switzerland/UK/Turkey) by Azerbaijani and Béla Tarr-trained Hilal Baydarov.

Nine out of ten films are European productions and co-productions in the parallel Out of Competition section. These include the Swiss production Erica Jong – Breaking the Wall [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Kaspar Kasics, which depicts the life of the New York writer Erica Jong, who with her best-seller Fear of Flying (1973) prompted reflections on sexuality in a decidedly innovative way, the Swiss-French co-production Continental Drift (South) [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lionel Baier
film profile
]
by Lionel Baier, which had its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, LOLA [+see also:
film review
interview: Andrew Legge
film profile
]
, a debut feature by Andrew Legge (Ireland/UK), a film with science-fiction overtones following two unusual sisters, the French-Swiss co-production Obscure Night - Wild Leaves (The Burning Ones, the Obstinate) by Sylvain George, a documentary on the complex European migration situation, the Portuguese work Love Lights [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Acácio de Almeida and Marie Carré, the Portuguese-French co-production Where Is This Street? Or With No Before or After [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata, an impressive and personal portrait of Lisbon, Ludovico Bessegato's Italian Prisma (Episode 1 and 2) about adolescence, the documentary Prologos [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by the late director Mantas Kvedaravičius (Lithuania/Greece) whose protagonist is a mysterious Sudanese writer living in Greece, and Anna Eriksson's Finnish production W [+see also:
trailer
interview: Anna Eriksson
film profile
]
, a surprising and captivating feature film dominated by mysterious characters trying to change the established order.

The selected films are as follows:

Competition

DeclarationMahesh Narayanan (India)
Sermon to the Fish [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
Hilal Baydarov (Azerbaijan/Mexico/Switzerland/UK/Turkey)
Bowling Saturne [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
Patricia Mazuy (France/Belgium)
De noche los gatos son pardos [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
Valentin Merz (Switzerland)
The Adventures of Gigi the Law [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 – Alessandro Comodin (Italy/France/Belgium)
Tales of the Purple House [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
Abbas Fahdel (Liban/Iraq/France)
Human Flowers of Flesh [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Helena Wittmann
film profile
]
Helena Wittmann (Germany/France)
Il pataffio [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 – Francesco Lagi (Italy/Belgium)
Matter Out of Place [+see also:
trailer
interview: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
film profile
]
 – Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Austria)
Tommy Guns [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Carlos Conceição
film profile
]
Carlos Conceição (Portugal/France/Angola)
Piaffe [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 – Ann Oren (Germany)
Rule 34 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
Julia Murat (Brazil/France)
Serviam – I Will Serve [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
Ruth Mader (Austria)
Fairytale [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 – Aleksandr Sokurov (Belgium/Russia)
Stella in Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sylvie Verheyde
film profile
]
Sylvie Verheyde (France)
Stone TurtleMing Jin Woo (Malaysia)
Tengo sueños eléctricos [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Valentina Maurel
film profile
]
Valentina Maurel (Belgium/France/Costa Rica)

Out of Competition

Candy LandJohn Swab (USA)
Erica Jong – Breaking the Wall [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
Kaspar Kasics (Switzerland)
Continental Drift (South) [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lionel Baier
film profile
]
Lionel Baier (Switzerland/France)
LOLA [+see also:
film review
interview: Andrew Legge
film profile
]
 – Andrew Legge (Ireland/UK)
Obscure Night - Wild Leaves (The Burning Ones, the Obstinate)Sylvain George (France/Switzerland)
Love Lights [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
Acácio de Almeida, Marie Carré (Portugal)
Where Is This Street? Or With No Before or After [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
João Pedro Rodrigues, João Rui Guerra da Mata (Portugal/France)
Prisma (Episodes 1 and 2) – Ludovico Bessegato (Italy)
Prologos [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
Mantas Kvedaravičius (Lithuania/Greece)
W [+see also:
trailer
interview: Anna Eriksson
film profile
]
Anna Eriksson (Finland)

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(Translated from Italian by Manuela Lazić)

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