LOCARNO, Switzerland — The 65th Locarno Film Festival wrapped Saturday night at the Piazza Grande with chief juror Apichatpong Weerasethakul handing out the Golden Leopard (with a purse of $92,000) to Gallic helmer Jean-Claude Brisseau’s “The Girl From Nowhere.”
Best director went to China’s Ying Liang for “When Night Falls.”
U.S. helmer Bob Byington’s comedy, “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” which preemed at SXSW, took home the Special Jury prize.
An Nai won best actress for “When Night Falls,” Walter Saabel nabbed best actor for “The Shine of Days.”
In the Cinema of the Present competition, Mexican helmer Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio won the Golden Leopard and $41,000 for his Japan-set documentary, “Inori.”
American Joel Potrykus picked up best director for “Ape.” “Not in Tel Aviv,” directed by Nony Geffen, received the Special Jury prize.
Rounding out the major awards, best first feature went to China’s “Memories Look at Me,” by Song Fang.
The Variety Piazza Grande award went to actress-helmer Noemi Lvovsky’s “Camille Rewinds,” scheduled for a September release in France.
Cate Shortland’s German-lingo period piece “Lore” was awarded the UBS-sponsored audience for a film screened in the Piazza Grande.
Career awards went to Gael Garcia Bernal, Harry Belafonte, Johnnie To, Charlotte Rampling and Arnon Milchan, who also featured in on-stage chats during the festival.
Fest expanded industry events and the Otto Preminger retrospective was a strong draw.
In his third year as artistic topper, Olivier Pere has positioned Locarno as the champion of art house cinema. However, commercial prospects for the majority of the selection, including the more populist Piazza Grande pics, are slim.