Piazza Grande at Locarno

Siew Hua Yeo’s second feature A Land Imagined has become the first film from Singapore to take home the top honour of the Golden Leopard in the history of the Locarno Festival.

The Singapore-France-Netherlands co-production, which received backing from Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund and CNC’s World Cinema Fund, follows a police investigator who must find a missing migrant in industrial Singapore.

The International Competition jury headed by Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhang-Ke awarded the special jury prize to Yolande Zauberman’s documentary M, while the Leopard for best direction went to Chilean filmmaker Dominga Sotomayor for her third feature Too Late To Die Young about three children preparing for New Year’s Eve in 1990.

Romania’s Andra Guti received the best actress Leopard for her performance as a buoyant and impertinent redhead teenager who discovers that she is pregnant in Radu Muntean’s Alice T., with Ki Joobong taking home the best actor Leopard for his role in Hong Sang-soo’s Hotel By The River. South Korean filmmaker Hong won the Golden Leopard in 2015 for Right Now, Wrong Then.

Speaking of this year’s award-winning films, Locarno’s outgoing artistic director Carlo Chatrian observed that ”with 12 award-winning women – including two Swiss directors – out of 25 awards, the 71st edition confirmed that Locarno is a festival where one plans the future”.

The festival’s audience award was presented at the closing ceremony to Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman ahead of the 71st edition’s closing film I Feel Good by Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern.

Further prizes

The juries for the Fipresci International Film Critics Prize and the Ecumenical Prize selected the same film: Cagla Zencirci and Guillaume Giovanetti’s third feature Sibel, which played in the main Competition. The Ecumenical jury also bestowed special mentions on the Golden Leopard winner A Land Imagined and Kent Jones’ Tribeca winner Diane.

Matthieu Bareyre’s Young & Alive (L’Époque) was awarded the Europa Cinemas Label, chosen by four member exhibitors from 15 titles that screened in the International Competition and Filmmakers of the Present Competition.

However, Eurimages’ Audentia Award to promote greater gender quality in the European film industry was notably absent from the line-up of award-winners this year. Locarno had only kicked off the collaboration with the Council of Europe fund at last year’s edition; the non-appearance of the award this year appears an odd omission in light of Locarno becoming only the second ‘A’ festival after Cannes to commit to a pledge for parity and inclusion in its programming with great fanfare last weekend.

The list of winners are as follows:

International Competition

Golden Leopard – A Land Imagined by Yeo Siew Hua, Singapore-France-Netherlands

Special Jury Prize  M by Yolande Zauberman, France

Leopard for Best Direction Too Late to Die Young by Dominga Sotomayor, Chile-Brazil-Argentina-Netherlands-Qatar

Leopard for Best Actress  Andra Guți for Alice T. by Radu Muntean, Romania-France-Sweden

Leopard for Best Actor  KI Joobong for Hotel By The River by Hong Sang-soo, South Korea

Special Mention  Ray & Liz by Richard Billingham, UK

Filmmakers of the Present Competition

Golden Leopard for the best film Chaos by Sara Fattahi, Austria-Syria-Lebanon-Qatar

Prize for the Best Emerging Director  Dead Horse Nebula by Tarık Aktaş, Turkey

Special Jury Prize  Closing Time by Nicole Vögele, Switzerland-Germany

Special Mentions  Fausto by Andrea Bussmann, Mexico-Canada; Rose, character of Young & Alive by Matthieu Bareyre, France

Signs of Life Competition

Signs of Life Award ELECTRONIC-ART.FOUNDATION to the Best Film – The Fragile House by LIN Zi, China

Fundación Casa Wabi – Mantarraya Award – Le Discours D’Acceptation Glorieux De Nicolas Chauvin by Benjamin Crotty, France

First Feature Competition

First Feature Award (Prize for Best First Feature)  All Good by Eva Trobisch, Germany

Swatch Art Peace Hotel Award – Acid Forest by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Lithuania

Special Mention – Erased, Ascent Of The Invisible by Ghassan Halwani, Lebanon

Leopards of Tomorrow - International Competition

Pardino d’oro for the Best International Short Film D’Un Chateau L’Autre by Emmanuel Marre, Belgium-France

Pardino d’argento  Heart Of Hunger by Bernardo Zanotta, Netherlands

Pardi di domani Best Direction Prize  El Laberinto by Laura Huertas Millán, France-Columbia-US

Medien Patent Verwaltung AG Award  Je Sors Acheter Des Cigarettes by Osman Cerfon, France

Special Mention  La Maxima Longitud De Un Puente by Simón Vélez, Columbia-Argentina

Leopard of Tomorrow - National Competition

Pardino d’oro for the Best Swiss Short Film Los Que Desean by Elena López Riera, Switzerland-Spain (Locarno Short Film Nominee For The European Film Awards 2018)

Pardino d’argento Swiss Life  Abigail by Magdalena Froger, Switzerland

Best Swiss Newcomer Award  Ici Le Chemin Des Anes by Lou Rambert Preiss, Switzerland

Prix du Public (Audience Award)  BlackKkKlansman by Spike Lee, US

Piazza Grande Award With The Wind by Bettina Oberli, Switzerland-France

Other Awards

Ecumenical Jury PrizeSibel by Cagla Zencirci and Guillaume Giovanetti, France-Germany-Luxembourg-Turkey

Special Mentions  A Land Imagined by Yeo Siew Hua, Singapore-France-Netherlands; Diane by Kent Jones, US

FIPRESCI PrizeSibel by Cagla Zencirci and Guillaume Giovanetti, France-Germany-Luxembourg-Turkey

Europa Cinemas LabelYoung & Alive by Matthieu Bareyre, France