Cult filmmaker to appear in conversation at film festival.

Alejandro Jodorowsky

Chilean filmmaker and artist Alejandro Jodorowsky is to be awarded with a Pardo d’onore at the 69th Locarno Film Festival (Aug 3-13).

As well as screening a selection of his films and the award ceremony on the Piazza Grande, Jodorowsky will also participate in a conversation open to all festival-goers.

As son of Russian immigrants exiled in Chile, Jodorowsky began his artistic career as a puppeteer, poet and theater director. At 23, he moved to France and joined Marcel Marceau’s mime troupe, and five years later founded - alongside Roland Topor and Fernando Arrabal - the performance art movement Panique, which aimed to counter the mainstreaming of surrealism.

Jodorowsky subsequently moved to Mexico, where, over the next 17 years, he created avant-garde theater de Mexico, and directed Fando And Lis (1968), El Topo (1970), The Holy Mountain (1973) and Santa Sangre (1989), films which made him a cult filmmaker around the world.

Locarno will screen The Dance of Reality, selected for Cannes in 2013, which marked his return to filmmaking, as well as Endless Poetry shown this year as part of Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight line-up, The Holy Mountain and Santa Sangre.

Carlo Chatrian, Locarno’s artistic director, said: “Alejandro Jodorowsky is an artist whose work goes far beyond the boundaries of film and, in keeping with the traditions of the avant-garde, makes no separation between life and the creation of art.

“The Festival’s bestowal of this award comes at the very moment the French-Chilean artist is making a visual autobiography in the form of one long, seamless film, a dialogue between his conception of art and his vision of reality.

“Awarding the Pardo d’onore to Alejandro Jodorowsky is a way to highlight poetry’s ability to go beyond the limiting horizons of reality, and give voice to the visionary and a freedom of expression which we so sorely need in this day and age”.

Jodorowsky will receive the award on the Piazza Grande on August 12 and will take part in an on-stage conversation the following day.

Previous recipients of the Pardo d’onore include Samuel Fuller, Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Loach, Sydney Pollack, William Friedkin, JIA Zhang-ke, Alain Tanner, Werner Herzog, Agnès Varda and, in 2015, Michael Cimino and Marco Bellocchio.