Locarno's festival directorIrene Bignardi promises "a journey of exploration" for this year'sInternational Competition (Aug 4-14)line-up with films from France to Vietnam, fromKazakhstan to Belgium and from South Africa to India.

"We chose the titleswhich had most to say about the tumultuous upheaval of the world today - andthe most pertinent, impertinent and interesting ways of saying it,"Bignardi commented on the selection.

No less than ten of the 18competition films come from Europe, ranging from Kenny Glenaan's Yasmin(UK/Germany) and Ayse Polat's En Garde (Germany) to Wojtek Smarzowski's TheWedding (Poland), Caterina Ruivo's Andre Valente (Portugal) andJoachim Lafosse's Folie Privee (Belgium).

Asia is well representedwith films from India (Black Friday), Vietnam (Buffalo Boy), HongKong (McDull, Prince De La Bun) and Japan (Tony Takitani), whilethis year's competition will have its first film from South Africa, IanGabriel's Forgiveness, starring Arnold Vosloo, Quanita Adams, and DeniseNewmann. The US presence is limited, though, to only one title: Zak Tucker's PosterBoy.

"It was only once we'dmade our choice that we discovered - as if by chance - that the films selectedfor the International Competition come from seventeen different countries,speak twenty-one different languages, take highly divergent cinematicapproaches, but almost all share a commitment to attempting to understand thepresent, the rationale and the non-rationale of the unbalanced world in whichwe live," Bignardi added.

Despite increasedcompetition from Venice under its new director Marco Mueller (Bignardi'spredecessor in Locarno), the festival has eleven world premieres in itscompetition line-up. True to Locarno's remit "to find the new voices andfilmmakers of the future", five of the competition films are firstfeatures such as Andre Valente, Poster Boy and Promised Land.

Speaking to ScreenDaily.com from Milan, Bignardi said that she and her selectors "went for the films we liked and not because they would be premieres. We didn't take that into account. The fact that we have eight first or second features shows that we are continuing the tradition of looking for new talents."

Out of competition Piazza Grande screenings include world premieres ofPatrice Leconte's Dogora and Volker Schloendorff's Der Neunte Tag,and the international premiere of Nick Love's The Football Factory.

Bignardi pointed out that, "on the whole, most of the films we are showing are political in some sense and that also applies for the films showing open-air on the Piazza Grande."

The Piazza will also be the venue for special screenings of Ermanno Olmi's 2003 film Cantando Dietro I Paraventi after the veteran Italian director receives a Leopard Of Honour and of Pan Nalin's Samsara on the occasion of the Raimondo Rezzonico Award being presented to producer Karl "Baumi" Baumgartner.

A tribute will be paid to the late Marlon Brando with the screening of Gillo Pontecorvo's 1969 film Queimada (Burn!), and this year's Retrospective, which is dedicated to the relationship between the cinema and the media, will be showcased with special showings of Alan J. Pakula's All The President's Men, Harry Thomason and Nickolas Perry's documentary The Hunting Of The President and Alexander Mackendrick's classic Sweet Smell Of Success.


Andre Valente by Catarina Ruivo - Portugal
International sales: Gemini films

Antares by Goetz Spielmann - Austria - 119 min
Int. Sales: Austrian Film Commission

Black Friday by Anurag Kashyap - India - 161 min
Production: Mid Day Multimedia Ltd.

Story Undone (Dastaneh Natamam ) by Hassan Yektapanah -Iran/Ireland/Singapore - 84 min
Co-production: Lebrocquy Fraser Production Ltd.

En Garde by Ayse Polat - Germany - 94 min
Production and Int. Sales: X Filme creative pool

Folie Privee by Joachim Lafosse - Belgium - 67 min
Int. sales: La Big Family

Forgiveness by Ian Gabriel - South Africa - 112 min
Int. Sales: Fortissimo Films

Muoa Len Traau (Buffalo Boy) by Minh Nguyen-Vo - Belgium/Vietnam/Germany- 96 min
Int. sales: Flach Pyramide Int.

McDull, Prince De La Bun by Toe Yuen - Hong Kong - Animation - 73 min
Int. Sales: Golden Network Asia

Okhotnik (The Hunter) by Serik Aprymov -Khazakhstan/Japan/France/Switzerland - 90 min
Production: East Cinema, with the support of the Foundation MonteCinemaVerita

Ordo by Laurence Ferreira-Barbosa - France/Canada/Portugal - 107 min
Int. Sales: Gemini Films

Poster Boy by Zak Tucker - USA - 104 min
Production: Shallow Pictures LLC

Pourquoi (Pas) Le Bresil by Laetitia Masson - France - 92 min
Production and Int. sales: Rezo Productions

Private by Saverio Costanzo - Italy - 90 min
Production: Offiside

Promised Land by Michael Beltrami - Switzerland/Italy - 99 min
Int. Sales: Columbus Film AG

Tony Takitani by Jun Ichikawa - Japan - 75 min
Int. Sales: Celluloid Dreams

Yasmin by Kenny Glenaan - UK/Germany - 87 min
Int. Sales: MovieHouse Entertainment (UK)

Wesele (The Wedding) by Wojtek Smarzowski - Poland - 109 min
Intl sales: SPI - International Poland


All The President's Men
byAlan Pakula - USA - 132 min, 1976
Production: Wildwood Enterprise, Warner Bros.

byShinji Aramaki - Japan - Animation - 103 min
based on a manga by Masamune Shirow
voices cast Ai Kobayashi, Jurota Kosugi, Yuki Matsuoka
Production & International Sales: Micott & Basara

Cantando Dietro I Paraventi
byErmanno Olmi - 2003 - 100 min
with Bud Spencer, Jun Ichikawa, Sally Ming Zeo Ni
Production: Cinemaundici
Int. sales: Lakeshore Entertainment

byPatrice Leconte - France - 80 min
Production: Epithete Films
Int. sales: TF1 International
Swiss distributor: Filmcoopi

Les Fautes D'Orthographe
by Jean-Jacques Zilbermann - France - 90 min
with Carole Bouquet, Olivier Gourmet, Damien Jouillerot
Production: Agat Films &Cie
International Sales: Funny Balloons

The Football Factory
by Nick Love - UK - 90 min
with Danny Dyer, Frank Harper, Hassan tarner, Roland Manookian
Production: Vertigo films
International Sales: HanWay Films

The Hunting Of The President
by Harry Thomason and Nickolas Perry - USA - documentary - 89 min
Based on the New York Times Best Selling Book by Joe Conason and Gene Lyons,narrated by Morgan Freemanwith PaulBegala, David Brock, John Camp, James Carville, Joe Conason, Jerry Falwell,Gene Lyons, Susan McDougal and theappearance of Bill and Hillary Clinton (Archive)
Production: Diceburg Llc.
Int. Sales: Regent

La Jeune Fille Et Les Nuages
by Georges Schwizgebel - Switzerland - Animation - 4 min

Kongekabale (King's Game)
by Nikolaj Arcel - Denmark - 103min
with Anders W Berthelsen, Soeren Pilmark, Nastja Arcel
Production: Nimbus Film
Int. sales: Trust Film Sales

Neunte Tag (Der)
by Volker Schloendorff - Germany - 97 min
with Ulrich Matthes, August Diehl, Hilmar Thate, Bibiana Beglau
Production: Provobis Film GmbH
Int. sales: Telepool GmbH
Swiss distributor: Filmcoopi

Notebook (The)
by Nick Cassavetes - USA - 123 min
with Gena Rowlands, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner
Production: New Line Cinema
Swiss Distributor: Warner Bros

Oh Happy Day
byHella Joof - Denmark - 93 min
with Lotte Andersen, Malik Yoba
Production: Fine & Mellow Productions AS
World Sales Agent: Nordisk Film International Sales
Swiss Distributor: Ascot Elite Entertainment Group

Queimada (Burn!)
by Gillo Pontecorvo - Italy - 1969, 112 min
with Marlon Brando, Evaristo Marquez, Norman Hill, Renato Salvatori, Dana Ghia
Production: Europee Associate SAS

byPan Nalin - Italy/France/India/Germany- 2001, 125 min
Shawn Ku, Christy Chung, Neelesha BaVora
Production: Pandora

Seres Queridos (Only Human)
by Teresa de Pelegri and Dominic Harari - Spain/Portugal/UK/Argentina - 89min
with Norma Aleandro, Guillermo Toledo, Maria Botto, Marian Aguilera
Production: Tornasol Films
World Sales: Renaissance Films
Swiss Distributor: Frenetic

Sweet Smell Of Success
byAlexander MacKendrick - USA - 1957, 96 min
with Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Martin Milner, BarbaraNichols
Production: United Artists

Hacala Hasurit (The Syrian Bride)
by Eran Riklis - Israel/France/Germany - 93 min
with Abbass Hiam, Khoury J. Makram, Khoury Clara, Barhoum Ashraf, Sheety Eyad
Production: Eran Riklis Productions ltd (Israel)/Neue Impuls Film (Germany)/MACTProductions (France)
World Sales: TF1 International