Locarno sets focus on ‘Cinema & Jazz’

Loach, Waldburger to be honored

A 50-pic retro devoted to “Cinema & Jazz” will form one of the major planks of this year’s 56th Locarno Film Festival, artistic director Irene Bignardi announced Monday. Journo Bignardi, whose initial three-year contract ends this year, told Variety she’s signing on for at least one more year in the job.

Selection of jazz titles will include all types of films, from biopics through animation to shorts. Though U.S. productions dominate, France, Italy, Scandinavia and Japan will also be repped.

British director Ken Loach will receive this year’s Leopard of Honor, and Swiss producer Ruth Waldburger, of Zurich-based Vega Film, who’s worked with helmers like Jean-Luc Godard and Alain Resnais during the past 20 years, will get the Raimondo Rezzonico Award, named after the fest’s former prez.

This year’s “In Progress” series of confabs will feature film music composers, led by Ennio Morricone.

Smaller sidebars will be devoted to films by young Argentinean directors, who will also present projects and works in progress, as well as movies from works by famed Swiss writer Friedrich Durrenmatt.

Fest’s full lineup, including its competition, will be announced July 23. Event runs Aug. 6-16 in the Swiss-Italian lakeside town.

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