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Locarno 2014: Piazza Grande, International Competition titles

The films set to get audiences talking in both the Piazza Grande and International Competition sections at the 67th Locarno Film Festival are profiled here.

Piazza Grande

A HITMAN’S SOLITUDE BEFORE THE SHOT (Ger)

Dir Florian Mischa Böder
World premiere

This black comedy from the director of The Austrian Method stars Benno Fürmann as a hitman who gets his first job at the worst possible moment.

Contact Picture Tree International www.picturetree-international.com

A LA VIE (Fr)

Dir Jean-Jacques Zilbermann
World premiere

Julie Depardieu, Suzanne Clément and Johanna Ter Steege star as former deportees from Auschwitz who are reunited 15 years after the end of the war in this film by French writer-director Zilbermann (Bad Spelling).

Contact Le Pacte www.le-pacte.com

CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA (Fr-Ger-Switz)

Dir Olivier Assayas

French director Assayas’s Cannes Competition title stars Juliette Binoche as a fading actress alongside Kristen Stewart as her assistant and Chloe Grace Moretz (pictured) as an up-and-coming young star.

Contact MK2 International www.mk2.com

THE BEACHES OF AGNES (Fr)

Dir Agnes Varda

This autobiographical 2008 documentary sees French director Agnes Varda, a recipient of Locarno’s Pardo d’onore Swisscom this year, revisiting places from her past.

Contact Ciné-Tamaris www.cine-tamaris.fr

DANCING ARABS (Isr-Fr-Ger)

Dir Eran Riklis

Riklis, whose acclaimed work includes The Human Resources Manager, returns with this adaptation of Sayed Kashua’s novel about an Arab boy whose parents send him to a prestigious Jewish boarding school in Jerusalem.

Contact The Match Factory www.the-match-factory.com

GERONIMO (Fr)

Dir Tony Gatlif

This update of West Side Story follows a social educator trying to prevent a war between the families of an illicit couple. The film premiered as a Special Screening in Cannes.

Contact Les Films du Losange www.filmsdulosange.fr

LAND HO! (US-Ice)

Dir Aaron Katz, Martha Stephens

US indie directors Katz (Cold Weather) and Stephens (Passenger Pigeons, Pilgrim Song) team up for this buddy road movie about two former brothers-in-law who take a holiday to Iceland. It world premiered at Sundance.

Contact Sony Pictures Classics www.sonypicturesclassics.com

THE LEOPARD (It-Fr)

Dir Luchino Visconti

Italian director Visconti’s classic The Leopard (Il Gattopardo) stars Burt Lancaster as an ageing aristocrat trying to protect the fortunes of his family. It won the Palme d’Or in 1963.

Contact Titanus www.titanus.it

LOVE ISLAND (Croatia-Ger-Switz-Bos Herz)

Dir Jasmila Zbani
World premiere

Berlin’s Golden Bear winner in 2006 with Grbavica, Bosnian director Zbanic offers this comedy about a couple holidaying in Croatia who both fall in love with the same woman.

Contact The Match Factory www.the-match-factory.com

LUCY (Fr)

Dir Luc Besson
Opening film

Scarlett Johansson plays a drug mule who gains superhuman powers in Besson’s sci-fi thriller. Morgan Freeman co-stars.

Contact Universal Pictures International www.universalpicturesinternational.com

Mary’s Story Fr

Dir Jean-Pierre Améris
World premiere

The latest film from Cannes award-winning director Améris, Mary’s Story (Marie Heurtin) is set in the 19th century and based on the true story of a 14-year-old deaf and blind girl who receives help in a nunnery.

Contact Indie Sales Company   www.indiesales.eu

PAUSE (Switz)

Dir Mathieu Urfer
World premiere

Baptiste Gilliéron and Julia Faure star in this comedy about a country-music loving telemarketer and lawyer living together. It marks Urfer’s feature debut.

Contact Picture Tree International  www.picturetree-international.com

SCHWEIZER HELDEN (Switz)

Dir Peter Luisi
World premiere

Swiss director Luisi’s latest film centres around a divorced housewife (Esther Gemsch) who tries to win the attention of her family by staging the story of William Tell with a group of asylum seekers.

Contact Spotlight Media Productions AG  www.spotlightmedia.ch

Tour de Force (Ger)

Dir Christian Zübert
World premiere

German director Zübert’s comedy drama Tour De Force (Hin Und Weg) stars Florian David Fitz as a man on a mission to reach a euthanasia clinic in Belgium while on an annual bike ride.

Contact Beta Cinema   www.betacinema.com

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY (US)

Dir Lasse Hallström

Helen Mirren stars in this cross-cultural culinary story directed by Chocolat and Salmon Fishing In The Yemen director Hallström.

Contact Mister Smith Entertainment   www.mistersmithent.com

International Competition

A BLAST (Gre-Ger-Neth)

Dir Syllas Tzoumerkas

Tzoumerkas, the director of Greek thriller Homeland, returns with the story of an anti-heroine on the run, rebelling against an envious mother, a mentally challenged but demanding sister, an absent husband and a hostile country.

Contact Homemade Films   homemadefilms.gr

ALIVE (S Kor)

Dir Park Jung-bum

Jung-cheol works through the bitter winter in a soybean paste factory, where he dreams of travelling to the warm Philippines.

Actor-writer-director Park stars, as he did in his well-received debut The Journals Of Musan.

Contact Finecut  www.finecut.co.kr

CURE - THE LIFE OF ANOTHER (Switz-Cro-Bos Herz)

Dir Andrea Staka

Eight years after winning the Golden Leopard for drama Fräulein, Switzerland’s Staka returns to directing with a thriller that sees two 14-year-old girls retreat to a secluded beach beneath the cliffs of Dubrovnik. Fraulein stars Mirjana Karanovic and Marija Skaricic also return.

Contact Okofilm Productions   www.okofilm.com

Fidelio, l’odyssee d’Alice (Fr)

Dir Lucie Borleteau

Ariane Labed, Melvil Poupaud and Anders Danielsen Lie star in the story of a 30-year-old female mechanic on board a cargo ship. First-time feature film-maker Borleteau was a script collaborator on Claire Denis’ White Material.

Contact Why Not Productions  contact@whynotproductions.fr

The Fool (Rus)

Dir Yury Bykov

Producer Aleksey Uchitel renews his collaboration with The Major writer-director Bykov on The Fool (Durak), a drama about a man fighting to save the inhabitants of a dormitory at risk of collapse.

Contact Rock Films  rockfilm.ru

From What Is Before (Phil)

Dir Lav Diaz

Diaz’s Norte, The End Of History follow-up is about a boy living in a small community in the Philippines.

Contact Sine Olivia Pilipinas

 sineoliviapilipinas.wix.com

GYEONGJU (S Kor)

Dir Zhang Lu

Grain In Ear and Desert Dream director Zhang returns with a comedy romance about the unexpected journeys and encounters that befall a professor who returns to his homeland of South Korea after a long absence.

Contact M-Line Distribution  www.mline-distribution.com

HORSE MONEY (Port)

Dir Pedro Costa

Costa, a Golden Leopard nominee for In Vanda’s Room (2000) and Memories (2007), returns with Horse Money (Cavalo Dinheiro), his first feature since 2009 music-documentary Change Nothing.

Contact OPTEC Sociedade Optica Tecnica  www.optec.pt

THE IRON MINISTRY (China-US)

Dir JP Sniadecki
World premiere

US-born, China-based film-maker Sniadecki’s latest documentary, following Yumen in 2013, centres around the history of China’s train system. Sniadecki’s Foreign Parts (2010) won the best first feature and special jury prizes at Locarno.

Contact Jianghu Productions  www.jianghuproductions.com

LISTEN UP PHILIP (US)

Dir Alex Ross Perry

This dark US comedy about a self-destructive writer world premiered at Sundance Film Festival and stars Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss, Jonathan Pryce and Krysten Ritter.

Contact The Match Factory   www.the-match-factory.com

PERFIDIA (It)

Dir Bonifacio Angius

Perfidia revolves around the complicated relationship between a father and his son, and stars Stefano Deffenu and Mario Olivieri. This is Angius’s second feature following Sa Grascia.

Contact Movie Factory SRL www.moviefactorysrl.com

THE PRINCESS OF FRANCE (Arg)

Dir Matias Pineiro
World premiere

The third film in Argentinean director Pineiro’s on-going take on Shakespeare’s comedies is a re-imagining of Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Contact Universidad Del Cine   ucine.edu.ar

LA SAPIENZA (Fr-It)

Dir Eugene Green
World premiere

Fabrizio Rongione stars as a disillusioned architect who sets out to rediscover the motivations that first pushed him to join the profession.

Green’s films Le Nom Du Feu and

Les Ponts Des Arts screened at Locarno in 2002 and 2004 respectively.

Contact La Sarraz Pictures   www.lasarraz.com

THE SHELTER (Switz)

Dir Fernand Melgar
World premiere

The latest documentary from Swiss director Melgar (Special Flight), The Shelter (l’Abri) is set in an emergency shelter for the homeless in Lausanne.

Contact CAT&Docs   www.catndocs.com

TWO GUN SHOTS (Arg-Chile-Ger-Neth)

Dir Martin Rejtman

16-year-old Mariano finds a gun in his house and, in a thoughtless impulse, shoots himself twice. But he survives. Two Gun Shots (Dos Disparos) director Rejtman, from Argentina, is a two-time Golden Leopard nominee for Rapado (1992) and The Magic Gloves (2003).

Contact Ruda Cine   www.rudacine.com.ar

VENTOS DE AGOSTO (Bra)

Dir Gabriel Mascaro
World premiere

Brazilian director Mascaro’s feature follows a young girl who has left the

big city to live in a small seaside village.

Contact FiGa Films   figafilms.com

WHITE NIGHTS ON THE PIER (Fr)

Dir Paul Vecchiali
World premiere

Pascal Cervo stars in White Nights On The Pier (Nuits Blanches Sur La Jetée), the latest feature from prolific French film-maker Vecchiali.

Contact Shellac   www.shellac-altern.org

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