The full line-up for the 59ththLocarno International Film Festival (Aug 2-12) hasbeen unveiled, marked by a boost in US fare underlined by opening film Miami Vice, final night film Little Miss Sunshine and two Sundancetitles in the International Competition.
Actor Willem Dafoe will behonoured with an artistic excellence award while previously announced Leopardof Honour winner Alexander Sokurov will premiere hisdocumentary Elegy OfLife, about cello virtuoso Mistlav Rostropvich.
In his first year at the helm,artistic director Frederic Maire has streamlined thefestival's lineup - the number of titles is down by25% to 170 although the number of screenings remains constant - and abandonedthe human rights and video programmes while boosting the Filmmakers of thePresent sidebar to include a second competitive strand.
"We are presenting thefestival we had planned to present eight months ago," said Maire."Everything has been surprisingly on track."
Locarno's main 21-title International Competition will boast13 world premieres and titles including TheLives Of The Saints, from Chris Cottam andphotographer Rankin, Veronica Chen's Agua, Marc Rechia's Days Of August, Roberta Torre's Mare Nero,Radu Muntean's The Paper Will Be Blue, and, from Cuba,biopic El Benny about musical iconBenny More. The two Sundance titles are THINKFilm's Half Nelson and Stephanie Daly, starring Tilda Swinton.
For the festival's galashowcase Piazza Grande screenings, Maire has secureda raft of titles including the world premiere of SergeiBodrov's anticipated Kazakh epic Nomad, with Kuno Becker and Jason ScottLee, for which The Weinstein Company took US and
Apart from the InternationalCompetition, two Golden Leopards and equal prizes of $25,000 (CHF30,000) will be awarded to the winners of the Filmmakers OfThe Present competitive strand - a 23-film "edgy" section, according to Maire.
As previously announced,Finnish film-maker Aki Kaurismaki is to be honouredwith an extensive retrospective of every film he has directed and acted in,while the Open Doors co-production meetings feature 11 projects and 17 filmsselected from
Filmmakers of the Presentcompetition jury
Dead in Three Days
Dir: Andreas Prochaska,
Lights in the Dusk
Dir: Aki Kaurismaki,Finland/Germany/France
The Life Of Others
Mon Frere Se Marie
Dir. Jean-Stephane Bron,Switzerland/France, world premiere
Dir. Marcel Schupbach,
Neil Young: Heart Of Gold
Dir. Jonathan Demme, documentary, international premiere
L'Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio
Dir. Augostino Ferrente.
The Right Of The Weakest
Dir. Lucas Belvaux, France/Belgium
Dir. Christopher Smith,
Un Franco, 14 Pesetas
Dir. Carlos Iglesias,
Little Miss Sunshine (final night film)
Dirs. Jonathan Dayton andValerie Faris, US, European premiere
Dir. Veronica Chen,Argentina-France, international premiere
Black Eyed Dog
Dir. Pierre Gang,
Ca Rend Heureux
Dir. Joachim Lafosse, Belguim/Italy,international premiere
Le Dernier Des Fous
Jorge Luis Sanchez, Cuba/Spain/UK,international premiere
Dir. Andrea Staka,
Dir. Ryan Fleck,
The Paper Will Be Blue
Jimmy Della Collina
The Lives Of The Saints
Dir. Chris Cottam and Rankin, international premiere
Der Mann Von DerBotschaft
Dir. Roberto Torre, Italy/France, world premiere
Dir.Andrei A Eshpai.
Don't Look Back
Dir. Kim Youngnam,Korea/Japan, international premiere
Dir. Hilary Brougher, US, international premiere