Helmer joins Wenders, Kiarostami in fest's kudo splurge

LONDON — The Locarno Film Festival has added a third honoree to its major kudo lineup this year. U.S.-born, U.K.-based writer-director Terry Gilliam will receive a Leopard of Honor, for career achievement, joining already announced Wim Wenders from Germany and Abbas Kiarostami from Iran in receiving a laurel.

Directors will receive their awards on separate nights in the Swiss lakeside town’s Piazza Grande, alongside an unspooling of a representative work. Kiarostami’s choice from his oeuvre is the 1994 “Under the Olive Trees”; Gilliam’s and Wenders’ selections have yet to be determined.

Announcing the award at a reception in London last week, fest director Irene Bignardi praised Gilliam’s visionary approach to cinema over the past 30 years.

Decision to give three Leopards of Honor this year reps a final flourish for Italian journalist Bignardi, who’s quitting after five years in the job.

This year’s fest, the 58th, runs Aug. 3-13. Full program will be announced July 13.

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