Swiss director to receive Golden Leopard

The 63rd Locarno Film Festival will honor Swiss auteur Alain Tanner, a key figure of the New Swiss Cinema movement, with its Golden Leopard for lifetime achievement.

Tanner, known for depicting the lives of Geneva’s social outcasts using a unique filmmaking style blending naturalistic visuals with fable-like storytelling, debuted at Locarno in 1969 with his first feature, “Charles Dead or Alive,” which scooped the top nod.

Influenced by the British Free Cinema movement of the early 1960s and the French New Wave, Tanner has co-penned several of his works with eminent English art critic John Berger.

Tanner’s 19 films include the gently ironic “La Salamandre” and “Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000,” the darker drama “No Man’s Land” and, most recently, the experimental “Paul Is Leaving,” about the everyday life of pupils in a Swiss acting school.

New Locarno topper Olivier Pere praised Tanner’s pics for “daring to venture into the worlds of dreams, poetry, desire and rebellion.”

Previous Locarno Golden Leopard career nod recipients include Ken Loach, Abbas Kiarostami and Wim Wenders.

The Swiss fest dedicated to indie cinema and young directors will run Aug. 4-14.

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