60th Locarno International Film Festival

Switzerland, August 6 - August 16 2008

The jury

Radovan Holub (Czech Republic), Emma Gray Munthe (Sweden), Javier Porta Fouz (Argentina), Mateusz Werner (Poland), Nicole Hess (Switzerland)

Awarded films

The Film Festival of Locarno, founded in 1946, is the biggest and most important film event in Switzerland. Directors like Freddy Buache and David Streiff, Moritz de Hadeln, Marco Müller and Irene Bignardi guided it to its international reputation. Since 2006 the festival has been under the direction of Frédéric Maire, who after the 2009 edition will jump ship to the Swiss Cinematheque (Cinémathèque Suisse) in Lausanne. Since 2002 the festival which has described itself as “the smallest among the biggest” is officially tagged as an A-Festival. The heart of the ten days long event is the Piazza Grande which offers place to more than 8000 spectators and creates — if the weather is good — a magical atmosphere. The artistic weight lies on the international competition which is focused on young and new cinema; the winner (Parque via by Mexican director Enrique Rivero) gets the Golden Leopard. A second competition is installed for the “Cinéastes du présent” (contemporary filmmakers). Filmmakers like Ken Loach or Jim Jarmusch, Jafar Panahi or Fatih Akin began their international career here, close to the Lago Maggiore. Beside the discovery of new talents Locarno is known for all its rich and remarkable retrospectives, “Orson Welles” or “Film and Journalism”, to name a few. In the last years important sections for the industry like “Open Doors” have been added to complete the program. More than a thousand journalists from all over the world cover the festival, and Locarno has established itself as an undeniable meeting place for the international and Swiss Film Industry. (Nicole Hess)