1st-11th August Locarno Festival celebrates the best of auteur cinema in the international cinematographic landscape. Arthouse cinema, independent productions, the most innovative film directors, influential and groundbreaking film and documentaries. This and more awaits us at the 71st edition of one the major film festivals, renowned for its unique, refined and original programming.
12 sections, 3 competitions, 25 awards : Piazza Grande, with its world and international premieres; International Competition, dedicated to auteur cinema, fiction and documentary feature films; Competition Cineasti del presente, first and second feature fiction and documentaries; Signs of Life, a section dedicated to innovative film language; Pardi di domani, short films of emerging film makers; Out Of Competition, non-competitive section of shorts and feature films; Histoire(s) du cinéma, special tributes to filmmakers and artists with newly restored works; Retrospective, tributes to contemporary filmmakers; Semaine de la critique, independent section dedicated to innovative and groundbreaking documentary feature films as world or international premieres; Panorama Suisse, a showcase of Swiss filmmaking; Locarno Kids hosting morning screenings for younger audience.
A FAMILY TOUR by Ying Liang – In the Summer of 2014 Ying Liang, a Chinese independent filmmaker exiled in Hong Kong, travels to Taiwan to meet his in-laws. The reunion came two years after Shanghai police put Ying on their wanted list for producing the film When Night Falls. The main character of A Family Tour, director Yang Shu, has been forced to live in exile in Hong Kong after directing the film, The Mother of One Recluse. When her mother has to undergo a serious operation, the two women plan to meet in Taiwan where Yang will be attending a film festival with her husband and son and where her mother will be taking a touristic tour. To ensure the family reunion can take place safely, they all stay at the same hotel and follow the tour on its various scenic destinations. A personal experience delving into ordinary life of the other China.
A LAND IMAGINED by Yeo Siew Hua – Set in industrial Singapore the story of the police investigator Lok who must find Wang, a migrant worker, alone, alienated, anxious about repatriation, misteriously missing. Before disappearing Wang had started frequenting a night cybercafé where he had made a virtual friendship with a sketchy gamer.
OPEN DOORS SCREENINGS
DEMONS IN PARADISE by Jude Ratnam – Jude Ratnam was five when civil war broke out in Sri Lanka in 1983. Jude and his parents fled by train from Colombo to the north of the country to escape persecution of the Tamils. Years later, as a filmmaker, Ratnam takes the same train from south to north, following the traces of the war with painful memories.
LAILA AT THE BRIDGE by Elizabeth and Gulistan Mirzaei – Afghanistan is the country with the world’s largest opium production and export. In Afghanistan live the greatest number of heroin addicts. Many of them are left to their own destiny in the ravines of Kabul. Wars and corruption fuel the opium trade being institutions totally absent when not corrupted. Laila struggles to help these people housing them in her centres.
THE ROAD TO MANDALAY by Midi Z – Set against the backdrop of the Great Mekong, crossed every day by thousands of illegal migrants. Another highway for human trafficking. The based on true event dramatic live story of Gou and Lianqing, two Birma illegal migrants who fall into the trap of the economic enslavement.
THUNDENEK by Prasanna Vithanage, Vimukthi Jayasundara, Asoka Handagama – Three films in one, three Sri Lankan internationally renowned filmmakers acclaimed for their films based on the Sri Lankan civil war, join in to make one film on post-war reality and identity. ‘HER’ is the story of Kesa, a Tamil Tigers videographer, who travels to the North in search of the woman in the photograph which Kesa finds in a wallet of a soldier from the South. ‘HIMi’ is about a Sinhala teacher, who, albeit being a Buddhist refuses to believe the re-birth of a Tamil militant into a Sinhala family. The ‘OTHER’ is about a Tamil mother who comes to Colombo in search of his missing son, a Tamil Tigers’cadre.
OUT OF COMPETITION
MY HOME, IN LIBYA by Martina Melilli – The story of Antonio and Narcisa Melilli, two of the over 20,000 Italians who were born in Libya when it was an Italian colony and forced to leave the country just after Gaddafi’s coup d’état. With the help of Mahmoud, a young Libyan contacted on social media, the film maker collects images of her grandparents‘ Tripoli as it is today.
ELDORADO by Markus Imhoof – Rescue ships, illegal work, refugees camps. A documentary which tackles the present migration crisis in Europe of 21st century focusing on Mediterranean sea blended with personal memories of the film director whose family hosted a child escaping from Italy during WW2.
FORTUNA by Germinal Roaux – The story of a 14-year-old Ethiopian girl who is given shelter for the winter in a Swiss catholic hospice after arriving in Lampedusa. While she waits for heir fate to be decided by the Swiss authorities, Fortuna meets Kabir, a 26-year-old African refugee, and falls desperately in love. Their relationship develops in secret, till the day Kabir disappears.
SEMAINE DE LA CRITIQUE
EASY LESSONS by Dorottya Zurbó – Kafia is from Somalia, she is twenty yearsold and is learning Hungarian in Budapest. The story of a young African migrant woman that came to Europe. The story of her growing up, self-discovery, independence and integration process on the threshold of adulthood up to the moment she emancipates from her parents leaving her entire cultural background behind.
THE APOLLO OF GAZA by Nicolas Wadimoff – In 2013 a statue of Apollo is found off Gaza before disappearing incomprehensibly. The episode gives the opportunity to look more closely at a territory known for the long-time war and a merciless blockade that has been suffocating and isolating its inhabitants from the world outside.
TARA’S FOOTPRINT by Georgina Barreiro – A compelling overview of Khechuperi, a sacred village located in Sikkim, at the heart of the Himalayas, bordering Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. A sacred place to Buddhists and local tribes, home to the Bhutia, a community of Tibetan origins. This pilgrimage site, Lake Khechuperi, located on the heights of the village is now threatened by growing tourism, deforestation and the disastrous ecological management of the area.