Marignac nabs Locarno indie prize

Festival chief praises 'defender of auteur cinema'

ROME — The Locarno Film Festival will fete Gallic producer Martine Marignac with its Raimondo Rezzonico nod, given annually to a producer who epitomizes the indie ethos.

Marignac, founder of prominent Paris-based arthouse shingle Pierre Grise Productions, has shepherded the works of revered Gallic auteur Jacques Rivette for almost 30 years, besides working closely with Gallic heavyweights Jean-Luc Godard, Chantal Ackerman, and Georgian helmer Otar Iosseliani, among others.

During her long career in the indie trenches, Marignac has also been instrumental in bringing lesser known new names to the fore such as quirky writer-director Sophie Fillieres, whose sophomore work “Ouch” screened out of competition at Locarno in 2000. Fillieres’ latest pic, “Pardon My French,” unspooled earlier this year in Berlin.

In praising Marignac, Locarno artistic topper Frederic Maire praised her as “an ardent defender of auteur cinema,” noting that with her Pierre Grise production/distribution shingle she provides auteurs with a combination of production coin and a guaranteed theatrical release in Gaul.

Previous recipients of the Rezzonico prize, in memory of Locarno’s late president, include Jeremy Thomas, Paulo Branco and Christine Vachon.

The 62nd Locarno fest will run Aug. 5-15.

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