France’s Martine Marignac will receive the Raimondo Rezzonico Prize for Best Independent Producer at the Locarno International Film Festival in Augus

Frederic Maire, the festival’s artistic director, said Locarno chose Marignac because she is an “ardent defender of auteur cinema” and has spent three decades working with some of Europe’s “most renowned and most demanding filmmakers”.

“Her support for their work is further enhanced by combining production and distribution. Martine Marignac embodies both passion and independence. We are proud to pay tribute to this outstanding personality”.

Marignac began her career in the film industry as a press officer before moving into production in the early 1980s. She founded the co-operative company La Cecilia producing films by Jacques Rivette, including Don’t Touch The Axe (Ne Touchez Pas La Hache) and The Story of Marie and Julien, Jean-Luc Godard and Chantal Akerman, among others.

In 1987, she collaborated with Maurice Tinchant, Vincent Malle and Georges Reinhardt in the setting up of Pierre Grise Productions, which she still runs today. The company is a key player in French and European independent cinema, working regularly with Otar Iosseliani (Monday Morning) and Daniele Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub (These Encounters Of Theirs) as well as on international co-productions by Daniel Schmid and Marco Bellocchio.

Previous recipients of the producer award are Paulo Branco, Ruth Waldburger, Karl Baumgartner, Jeremy Thomas, the collective Agat Films, Lita Stantic and Christine Vachon.