Film Festival Locarno 2011: Strong presence for Swiss films in competitions
Swiss film productions will be presented in all sections of the 64th Festival del film Locarno (August 3-13, 2011). And no less than three Swiss feature films will celebrate their world premieres in the International Competition: “Abrir puertas y ventanas” by Milagros Mumenthaler; “Mangrove” by Frédéric Choffat and Julie Gilbert; and Fernand Melgar’s documentary film “Vol spécial.” Switzerland is also present in the Filmmakers of the Present Competition with the documentary film “The Substance – Albert Hoffmann’s LSD” by Martin Witz. Eleven Swiss short film productions are in the running for an award in the national competition of the Leopards of Tomorrow Competition. Screened on the Piazza Grande will be the most recent opus “Romance” by animation filmmaker Georges Schwizgebel and the apocalyptic thriller “Hell,” Tim Fehlbaum’s graduation film produced at the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF). In its tribute to filmmaker Villi Hermann, who was honoured with the “Premio Cinema Ticino”, the festival will screen his feature film “Innocenza” (1986) on the Piazza Grande. Romandy doyen Claude Goretta will be presented a Leopard of Honour and further honoured in a mini-retrospective comprised of three films. The “Appellations Suisse” section, under the aegis of SWISS FILMS, will present ten Swiss film productions which have already had a theatrical release or have attracted attention at international festival during the past year, as well as two short films and a special screening.
French-speaking Switzerland is especially well represented in the International Competition this year with three film productions. Moreover, this is the first time a Swiss documentary film is participating in the main competition: Fernand Melgar's "Vol spécial" an explosive cinematic examination of Switzerland's deportation policy. Melgar was honoured with a Leopard in the Filmmakers of the Present section for his film "La forteresse" in 2008. Film director Bettina Oberli is a member of the international jury; her comedy "Die Herbstzeitlosen" celebrated its unforgettable premiere on the Piazza Grande in 2006. And four new Swiss documentary films will be screened out of competition in Locarno: "1 due 100 Officine" follows up on the labour dispute in the SBB railway workshops in Bellinzona, a topic Danilo Catti had taken up in 2008 with his film "Giù le mani," also screened in Locarno. With the film "Glauser," Christoph Kühn presents his cinematic portrait of the Swiss author Friedrich Glauser (1896-1938). Heidi Specogna's "Carte Blanche" portrays the challenges faced by the chief prosecutors of the International Criminal Court in The Hague when investigating human rights violations. And with "Gotthard Schuh. Una visione sensuale del mondo," Villi Hermann portrays Zurich photographer and photojournalist Gotthard Schuh (1897-1969). The 22nd Critics' Week will present "Messies, ein schönes Chaos" by Ulrich Grossenbacher and the Israeli-Swiss coproduction "Carte Blanche" by Alexandre Goetschmann.
Eleven new Swiss short films will be screened in the national Leopards of Tomorrow Competition, the jury of which includes Ticinese producer Luc Toutounghi. In addition, this festival section will present the film "Projet Corrida" by the two Swiss photographers René Burri and Marco D'Anna under "Corti d'autore." Screened in conjunction with the tribute to Claude Goretta - he will be presented a Leopard of Honour on the closing night of the festival - are his films "L'invitation" (1973), "La dentellière" (1977) and "La provinciale" (1981). The Lausanne film director Lionel Baier will present the audience with a cinematic homage to Goretta "Bon vent à Claude Goretta," which he produced this year. Bruno Ganz, also honoured at this year's festival, stars in a leading role of the film "La provinciale." The recently restored version of the film "Schatten der Engel" (1975) will be screened in Locarno, exactly five years after the death of Daniel Schmid.
SWISS FILMS, the national film promotion agency, has selected six feature films, four documentary films and two short films for the "Appellations Suisse" section. Among the highlights of this selection are this Swiss box-office hit for the year 2010 "Sennentuntschi" by Michael Steiner and Peter Luisi's feature film "Der Sandmann," which received several nominations for the Swiss Film Prize "Quartz 2011." In conjunction with a special screening in the "Appellations Suisse" section, the festival will present the film "Die grosse Erbschaft," by Fosco Dubini and his brother Donatello Dubini, who passed away in March of this year.
Locarno / Zurich, July 13, 2011