The Locarno Film Festival has announced the line-up of 20 features that it has selected for its innovative The Films After Tomorrow initiative.
The special event has been created to support feature films that have stalled at various stages of production due to the Covid-19 pandemic which also led to the cancellation of the physical edition of the 73rd edition of Locarno.
It is part of the festival’s special ”Locarno 2020 - For the Future of Films” programme which it has devised to carry on supporting and championing independent cinema in the absence of a physical event this year.
The festival announced the The Films After Tomorrow selection on Thursday in a special Zoom presentation hosted by Swiss Films within the framework of the virtual Cannes market.
Locarno’s artistic director Lili Hinstin said 545 projects had been submitted to the initiative in a sign of the impact that the pandemic has had on independent filmmaking.
Divided into 10 international projects and 10 Swiss projects, the participating feature will eligible for two Pardo 2020 prizes, each worth $73,000 (CHF 70,000). The two juries will consist of filmmakers.
Another $83,000 (CHF 80,000) worth of prizes have been donated for the international projects, across the Campari Award worth $52,000 (CHF 50,000) and Swatch Award worth $32,000 (CHF 32,000) and aimed at the most innovative project.
State Swiss broadcaster is contributing the SRG SSR Award for one of the Swiss projects, guaranteeing publicity on it channels worth $124,000 (CHF 100,000).
The line-up mixes established artists, some of whom were discovered or attracted critical notice at earlier editions of the Locarno Film Festival, as well as emerging talents. Established names with projects in the selection include Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel, Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes, the Philippines’s Lav Diaz, who won the Golden Leopard in 2014 for From What Is Before, and China’s Wang Bing.
Martel is presenting her first foray into non-fiction with hybrid, creative documentary Chocobar, about the murder of indigenous activist Javier Chocobar by a white landowner.
Gomes is in the selection with Savagery (Selvajaria), his epic adaptation of Euclides da Cunha’s classic work Rebellion in the Backlands. It reconstructs the 1897 war between the army of the then First Brazilan Republic and the impoverished native inhabitants of Canudos, a village in the northeastern state of Bahia.
The production was in a complex pre-production phase that involves the historical reconstruction of the village and close collaboration with descendants of the Canudos fighters, when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
Diaz is participating with his upcoming drama When The Waves Are Gone, inspired the French literary classic The Count Of Monte Cristo, which was in pre-production.
Wang Bing’s documentary project I Come From Ikotun follows the lives of Nigerian immigrants living in Chinese city of Guangzhou and was in the midst of shooting when the Covid-19 outbreak forced the production to shutdown.
“Our role as a festival is to build a bridge between films, industry and audience, and so we have tried to find alternative ways of pursuing that mission in a year fraught with difficulties for films and the film business everywhere,” said Hinstin. “In our choice of international projects, we looked at both benchmark directors in new world cinema and at promising new voices, picking out a line-up that speaks of the range of problems encountered by independent productions in very different regions of the world. The Swiss projects, on the other hand, reflect a vibrant creative scene packed with debut features, documentaries and projects.”
Both the public and industry professionals will be able to access a presentation of the selected projects on the festival website from August 5 to 15.
Some of the selected filmmakers will hold online masterclasses open to the public, discussing their work and reflecting on what the future may hold for cinema. Each director will be asked to select one film from previous editions of Locarno to build a programme section entitled ”A Journey in the Festival’s History”, which is billed as a series of screenings allowing viewers to travel back and discover landmark films in the event’s rich history.
The full list of projects
Chocobar by Lucrecia Martel (Arg-US-Neth)
Produced by: Rei Cine: Benjamin Domenech, Louverture Films, Lemming Film
Cidade;Campo by Juliana Rojas (Braz)
Produced by: Dezenove Som e Imagens: Sara Silveira - De Humani
The Fabric Of The Human Body (Corporis Fabrica) by Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (Fr-US)
Produced by: Norte Productions: Valentina Novati, Sensory Ethnography Lab: Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Eureka by Lisandro Alonso (Fr-Ger-Port-Mex-Arg)
Produced by: Luxbox: Fiorella Moretti and Hédi Zardi, Komplizen, Rosa Filmes, Mr. Woo, 4L
Human Flowers Of Flesh by Helena Wittmann (Germany/France)
Produced by: Fünferfilm: Frank Scheuffele, Karsten Krause and Julia Cöllen, Tita Productions: Christophe Bouffil
I Come From Ikotun by WANG Bing (France/China)
Produced by: Idéale Audience: Hélène Le Coeur and Pierre-Olivier Bardet, WIL Productions: Lihong Kong
When The Waves Are Gone (Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon) by Lav Diaz (Phil-Fr-Port-Den)
Produced by: Films Boutique: Jean-Christophe Simon and Gabor Greiner, Epicmedia Productions: Bianca Balbuena and Bradley Liew, Rosa Filmes: Joaquim Sapinho, Snowglobe Film: Eva Jakobsen, Katrin Pors and Mikkel Jersin
Nowhere Near by Miko Revereza (Phil-Mex-US)
Produced by: Los Otros: Shireen Seno, Cine Droga
Little Solange (Petite Solange) by Axelle Ropert (Fr)
Produced by: Aurora Films: Charlotte Vincent
Savagery (Selvajaria) by Miguel Gomes (Port-Fr-Braz-China-Gre)
Produced by: O SOM E A FÚRIA: Luís Urbano, Shellac Sud, RT Features, Rediance Films, Faliro House
Azor by Andreas Fontana (Switz-Arg-Fr)
Produced by: Alina Film: Eugenia Mumenthaler and David Epiney, RTS, Ruda cine, Local Films
A Piece Of Sky (Ein Stück Himmel) by Michael Koch (Switz-Ger)
Produced by: hugofilm features: Christof Neracher, Pandora Film Produktion, SRF SRG SSR, ARTE
Far West by Pierre-François Sauter (Switz-/Port-It)
Produced by: Le Laboratoire Central: Nadejda Magnenat, Terratreme: João Matos, Qoomoon: Luciano Barisone and Luca Scarabelli
A Flower In The Mouth by Eric Baudelaire (Switz-Fr)
Produced by: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen: Giovanni Carmine, Poulet-Malassis Films: Eric Baudelaire
L’Afrique Des Femmes by Mohammed Soudani (Switz-Ivory Coast)
Produced by: Amka Films Productions: Tiziana Soudani (1955-2020), Michela Pini and Amel Soudani, RSI SRG SSR, Nikady’s Production: Djira Youssouf
Les Histoires d’Amour by Liv S. by Anna Luif ( Switz)
Produced by: Beauvoir Films: Aline Schmid
LUX by Raphaël Dubach and Mateo Ybarra (Switz)
Produced by: Jeunes Sauvages: Raphaël Dubach and Mateo Ybarra
Olga by Elie Grappe (Switz-Fr)
Produced by: Pointprod: Jean-Marc Fröhle, Cinéma Defacto: Tom Dercourt, RTS SRG SSR, Canal +
Unrest (Unrueh) by Cyril Schäublin (Switz)
Produced by: Seeland Filmproduktion: Linda Vogel and Michela Pini
Zahorí by Marí Alessandrini (Switz-Arg-Chile-Fr)
Produced by: Le Laboratoire Central: Nadejda Magnenat, El Calefón Cine: Juan Carlos Maristany, Cinestación: Dominga Sotomayor, Norte Productions: Valentina Novati