The 75th Locarno Film Festival: “a new beginning” for cinema

25 July, 2022

The 75th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place between August 3-13, 2022. Opening the festival is Bullet Train (dir. David Leitch), starring Brad Pitt, Joey King, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Sandra Bullock, Hiroyuki Sanada, Andrew Koji, and Benito A Martínez Ocasio.

The film will be screened in the Piazza Grande, in the presence of the director and British actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who will receive the Excellence Award Davide Campari on the same evening.

The 2022 edition will also be inaugurated with a special screening of Broken Blossoms (dir. D. W. Griffith, 1919), with the live performance of Carl Davis’ score by the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana (OSI), conducted by Philippe Béran.

The festival program comprises 226 feature and short films, coming from 113 countries and selected from 4,245 entries. Of these, 105 are presented as world premieres.

The International Competition includes 17 titles, many of them debut films or made by directors who are at their second or third feature:

  • Declaration (dir. Mahesh Narayanan, India)
  • Sermon to the Fish (dir. Hilal Baydarov, Azerbaijan/Mexico/Switzerland/Turkey)
  • Saturn Bowling (dir. Patricia Mazuy, France/Belgium)
  • De noche los gatos son pardos (dir. Valentin Merz, Switzerland)
  • The Adventures of Gigi the Law (dir. Alessandro Comodin, Italy/France/Belgium)
  • Tales of the Purple House (dir. Abbas Fahdel, Lebanon/Iraq/France)
  • Human Flowers of Flesh (dir. Helena Wittmann, Germany/France)
  • Il pitaffio (dir. Francesco Lagi, Italy/Belgium)
  • Matter Out Of Place (dir. Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Austria)
  • Tommy Guns (dir. Carlos Conceição, Portugal/France/Angola)
  • Piaffe (dir. Ann Oren, Germany)
  • Rule 34 (dir. Julia Murat, Brazil/France)
  • Serviam – I Will Serve (dir. Ruth Mader, Austria)
  • Fairytale (dir. Aleksandr Sokurov, Belgium/Russia)
  • Stella in Love (dir. Sylvie Verheyde, France)
  • Stone Turtle (dir. Ming Jin Woo, Malaysia, Indonesia)
  • Tengo sueños eléctronicos (dir. Valentina Maurel, Belgium/France/Costa Rica)

“Cinema, as always, is anchored firmly in the present but strives relentlessly to move forward, to the «future». Only by making the visionary choices today do we stand a chance, hard-won in the field, to aspire to and plan for that future,” says Giona A. Nazzaro, the Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival, stating that the anniversary edition represents a new beginning, a step towards new directions.

This year’s program features bold films, meant to provoke debate and direct viewers’ gaze to the pressing issues of today.

“The selection of films that we have put together, after watching and appraising over 3,000 titles (of every length and format), is intended to be the mark of a time and of a cinema in motion. A historic time that is moving in multiple directions simultaneously, and a cinema that is probing the issues facing the world, and how to live in it responsibly, sustainably. The image is a witness and a declaration of solidarity,” added Giona A. Nazzaro.

In this vein, the 75th edition of the Locarno Film Festival sees the launch of a new initiative, the Locarno Green Project. Starting this year, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, the festival will award the Pardo Verde WWF to the film – in any of its competition sections – that best reflects an ecological issue.

Locarno is well-known to honor filmmakers whose works have a resounding impact on contemporary cinema. This year, the Pardo d’onore Manor will be granted to American director Kelly Reichardt, US producer Jason Blum will receive the Premio Raimondo Rezzonico for Best Independent Producer, French-Greek director Costa-Gavras will be awarded The Pardo alla carriera Ascona-Locarno, and the Lifetime Achievement Award will go to actor Matt Dillon.

For more details on this year’s program, visit the festival website.

Writer, photographer and videographer. For Films in Frame she writes news about the latest happenings in the film world and brings to the readers' attention the productions that can be seen at the cinema. When she's not writing articles, she's photographing people in a small studio or searching for new cake recipes.