US producer and Killer Films co-founder Christine Vachon (Boys Don't Cry, I'm Not There) will be this year's recipient of Locarno's Raimondo Rezzonico Prize to highlight the work of major independent film producers.

Commenting on the decision to select Vachon for this honour at the festival's 61st edition, artistic director Frederic Maire said: 'Locarno is celebrating an exceptional producer, who has made a decisive contribution to independent American cinema over the last 15 years. Fearless in the face of risk and controversy, Christine Vachon has carved out a distinctive path through the Hollywood industry. She has encouraged innovative filmmakers with unusual tenacity, and developed projects that go against the grain, often on taboo subjects. Her passion and audacity have been to the enormous benefit of both film and audiences.'

Founded in 2002 in memory of the man who was President of the Locarno festival for almost twenty years, the Raimondo Rezzonico Prize has been awarded in past years to Paulo Branco, Ruth Waldburger, Karl Baumgartner, Jeremy Thomas, Agat Films, the collective led by Robert Guediguian, and, in 2007, to Lita Stantic.