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Locarno to honour Sergio Castellitto

Italian actor, director and screenwriter Sergio Castellitto is to be honoured at the 66th edition of the Locarno Film Festival (August 7-17).

The tribute to Castellitto will include a conversation with him that is open to the public, and screenings of five films spanning his career: Jacques Rivette’s Va Savoir (Who Knows?) (2001), Marco Bellocchio’s My Mother’s Smile (2002), Alessandro Angelini’s Raise Your Head (2009), as well as Love & Slaps (2010) and the Swiss premiere of Twice Born, directed by Castellitto.

Locarno artistic director Carlo Chatrian said:  ”This recognition of actor and director Sergio Castellitto is a way to honour a career that has bridged two distinct eras in Italian cinema - that of the ‘sacred monsters’ (Monicelli, Ferreri, Mastroianni…) and the new (Amelio, Bellocchio, Virzì) - before finding his own creative trajectory.

“Whether in the service of Italian or foreign filmmakers, or involved in his own productions, Sergio Castellitto represents the kind of quality Italian cinema that has much to say beyond its own context, the kind of cinema – maybe less well-known but none the less original for all that – I would like to have a place at Locarno”.

Castellitto, born in Rome in 1953, began his career in the theatre after studying at the Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Drammatica, and made his film debut in the early 1980s.

He subsequently worked with some of the leading lights of Italian cinema such as Mario Monicelli, Marco Ferreri, Francesca Archibugi and Ettore Scola.

Sergio Castellitto has also been successful abroad, in the 2006 portmanteau film Paris je t’aime, blockbuster The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and with French director Luc Besson in 1988’s The Big Blue.

Under German filmmaker Sandra Nettelbeck’s direction he played the lead role as the cook in Mostly Martha, screened on the Piazza Grande at the Locarno Festival in 2001.

He made his directorial debut in 1999 with Libero Burro, but it was with Don’t Move in 2004 that Castellitto made his name behind the camera. The film, in which he co-starred with Penélope Cruz, adapted from the eponymous story by his wife Margaret Mazzantini, was a critical and commercial success.

Castellitto followed this with two more films which he wrote,  directed and starred in, Love & Slaps (2010) and Twice Born (2012).

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