The 70th edition of the international film festival in Locarno, a true arthouse smorgasbord, has handed out this year's accolades.
The top honor, the Golden Leopard, was awarded to Chinese filmmaker Wang Bing, surprisingly, for Mrs. Fang. The documentary captures the last days of an Alzheimer´s patient. It's not an easy watch, with long shots centered on the titular 67-year- old woman, although Bing, first and foremost, demonstrates a humane approach to his subject.
Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra shared the Special Jury Prize for their effort Good Manners, a lycanthropic fairy-tale for adults meshed with a coming-of-age story. The cinematographer, writer, and singer F.J. Ossang took home the Best Direction prize for the noir drama 9 Fingers.
Isabelle Huppert added another statue for Best Actress to her display box for her portrayal of Madame Hyde in the eagerly awaited female re-invention of the notorious story from Serge Bozon. The best male performance was attributed to Elliot Crosset Hove for his depiction of an alienating protagonist yearning for affection in Hlynur Pálmasson's drama Winter Brothers.
The main honor in the Filmmakers of the Present competition went to Bulgaria as the director Ilian Metev took the accolade for a family drama Three Quarters, which observes a father and his two children attempting to work as a family unit. Valerie Massadian received a Special Jury Prize for the exquisitely-framed drama Milla.
Kim Dae-Hwan received the Prize for the Best Emerging Director for the drama The First Lap, about a young couple and their encounters with their respective families. (Read our review by Pierce Conran.)
Two films shared the Special Mention award, docudrama Distant Constellation, where the camera wanders through a retirement home, capturing rituals and hearing past lives of its inhabitants, and Pedro Cabeleira´s Damned Summer, revolving around an aimless youth partying and slacking in Lisbon.
No less interesting are the winners in first feature category, Ana Urushadze´s unlikely portrait of a feminist, Scary Mother, won the prize for the Best First Feature while docu-fiction hybrid with an urgent political message Meteors, by Gurcan Keltek, received the Swatch Art Peace Hotel Award.
Young Swiss filmmaker Cyril Schäublin received a Special Mention prize for a snapshot from a capitalist reality Those Who Are Fine, marked by a rather unconventional approach to cinematography and framing. The audience also got its vote and picked Kumail Nanjiani's almost biopic The Big Sick, directed by Michael Showalter, as the laureate of the Prix du Public UBS.
The list of remaining winners:
Sign of Life Competition Signs of Life Award ELECTRONIC-ART.FOUNDATION to the Best Film COCOTE by Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Germany, Qatar
Fundácion Casa Wabi – Mantarraya Award DANE KOMLJEN for PHANTASIESÄTZE, Germany, Denmark
Special Mention ERA UMA VEZ BRASÍLIA by Adirley Queirós, Brazil, Portugal
Pardi di domani Concorso Internazionale
Pardino d’Oro for the Best International Short Film – Premio SRG SSR ANTÓNIO E CATARINA by Cristina Hanes, Portugal
Pardino d’Argento SRG SSR for the Concorso Internazionale SHMAMA by Miki Polonski, Israel
Locarno Nomination for the European Film Awards – Premio Pianifica JEUNES HOMMES À LA FENÊTRE by Loukianos Moshonas, France
Medien Patent Verwaltung AG Award KAPITALISTIS by Pablo Muñoz Gomez, Belgium,France
Special Mention ARMAGEDDON 2 by Corey Hughes, Cuba Concorso
Nazionale Pardino d’Oro for the Best Swiss Short Film – Premio Swiss Life REWIND FORWARD by Justin Stoneham, Switzerland
Pardino d’Argento Swiss Life for the Concorso Nazionale 59 SECONDES by Mauro Carraro, Switzerland
Best Swiss Newcomer Award LES INTRANQUILLES by Magdalena Froger, Switzerland
Variety Piazza Grande Award DREI ZINNEN by Jan Zabeil, Germany, Italy
Ecumenical Prize The Main Prize LUCKY by John Carroll Lynch, USA
Special Mention VINTERBRØDRE by Hlynur Pálmason, Danmark, Iceland QING TING ZHI YAN (Dragonfly Eyes) by XU Bing, China, USA
FIPRESCI Prize QING TING ZHI YAN (Dragonfly Eyes) by XU Bing, China, USA
Europa Cinemas Label VINTERBRØDRE by Hlynur Pálmason, Danmark, Iceland
Junior Jury Awards First Prize VINTERBRØDRE by Hlynur Pálmason, Denmark, Iceland
Second Prize LA TELENOVELA ERRANTE by Raúl Ruiz, Valeria Sarmiento, Chile
Third Prize QING TING ZHI YAN (Dragonfly Eyes) by XU Bing, China, USA
Environment is Quality of Life» Prize WAJIB by Annemarie Jacir, Palestine
Special Mention DID YOU WONDER WHO FIRED THE GUN? by Travis Wilkerson, USA
The Cinema & Gioventù Jury for the Concorso Cineasti del presente SASHISHI DEDA (Scary Mother) by Ana Urushadze, Georgia, Estonia
Special Mention CHO-HAENG (The First Lap) by Kim Dae-Kwan, South Korea
The Cinema & Gioventù Jury for the Pardi di domani section Best International Short Film VYPUSK 97 by Pavlo Ostrikov, Ukraine
Best Swiss Short Film (ex aequo) KUCKUCK by Aline Höchli, Switzerland PARADES by Sarah Arnold, France, Switzerland
Premio FICC/IFFS (International Federation of Film Societies) Don Quijote Prize WAJIB by Annemarie Jacir, Palestine
Semaine de la critique SRG SSR Prize/Semaine de la critique DRUŽINA (The Family) by Rok Bicek, Slovenia, Austria
Premio Zonta Club Locarno SEÑORITA MARÍA, LA FALDA DE LA MONTAÑA by Rubén Mendoza, Colombia
Residency Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur @ Villa Sträuli» PRADEEPAN RAVEENDRAN, Open Doors Screenings, Sri Lanka
Premio Audentia di Eurimages MILLA by Valerie Massadian, France, Portugal