Irene Bignardiis pulling out all stops for her last outing as Locarno's artistic director byselecting another two films for the official competition and bestowing aLocarno Excellence Award on the US actress Susan Sarandon.

The twolatecomers just confirmed for the International Competition are Canadian LouiseArchambault's feature debut Familia, which is described as 'a penetrating portrayal of familycontacts', and Yvan le Moine's Vendredi Ou Un Autre Jour, starring Philippe Nahon, HannaSchygulla and Ornella Muti, based on a Michel Tournier novel.

Susan Sarandonwill come to Locarno on August 8 to host an acting master class and appear onstage in the Piazza Grande before the screening of Wisit Sasanatieng's MahNakorn (Citizen Dog) to receive the award which will also be presented to fellow thespian JohnMalkovich and cinematographer Vittorio Storaro this year.

The PiazzaGrande open-air programme will feature two additional films: the Swissdocumentary Jo Siffert, Live Fast - Die Young by Men Lareida, dedicated to thelegendary Swiss Formula One driver Jo Siffert who was killed in a race in 1971at the age of only 35; and Mary McGuckian's drama Rag Tale set in the editorial offices of a UKevening newspaper.

According to thefestival organisers, 'the consistent success' scored by Rag Tale at a number of test screenings convincedBignardi and her team to move McGuckian's films from its original slot in theFilmmakers of the Present sidebar 'so as to allow the Piazza Grandeaudience to get to grips with an original, formally fascinating work with thenarrative 'hook' of a great novel.' Rag Tale will be presented in Locarno by directorMcGuckian and two of the film's stars, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rupert Graves.

The 58th edition of theLocarno festival will kick off (literally) next week on August 3 with theIndian short Village Football bySainath Choundhury - which was produced for this year's Berlinale Talent Campus- as the supporting film for Ketan Mehta's The Rising - Ballad Of MangalPandey