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Locarno Film Festival unveils lineup

Selection includes 10 world premieres

The Locarno Film Festival has unveiled its lineup, which includes 10 world preems launching at the Swiss fest’s Piazza Grande, following opener ‘500 Days of Summer.’

In addition Fox Searchlight’s previously announced romantic comedy, Nick Cassavetes’ cancer weepie ‘My Sister’s Keeper,’ from Warner Bros., will also fly the Stars and Stripes at Locarno. Like ‘500,’ the Cameron Diaz starrer makes its international bow in the fest’s 8,000-seat, open-air venue.

The Aug. 5-15 event dedicated to indie fare will close with docudrama ‘The Two Horses of Genghis Khan,’ about Mongolian singer Urna’s musical journey in the heart of her homeland, by Oscar-nominated Mongolian helmer Byambasuren Davaa.

Other preems include Takeshi Koike’s Japanese car-racing adventure toon ‘Redline,’ a pic that was pulled out of Annecy; Ludi Boeken’s big-budget Teutonic WWII drama ‘Unter Bauern,’ about a Westfalian community where peasants hide a Jewish family from the Nazis; and ‘Les derniers jours du monde’ (‘This Is the End’) from Gallic brothers Jean-Marie and Arnaud Larrieu, in which a man searches for a lost love amid a worldwide apocalypse. Israel’s Amos Gitai is bringing a filmed montage of his stage musical ‘La Guerre des fils de la lumiere contre les fils des tenebres’ (The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness), narrated by Jeanne Moreau.

These titles are among those competing for the Variety Piazza Grande Award presented, for the second year, to the best pic combining artistic smarts and commercial potential.

The main competish includes Locarno’s first movie from South Africa, first-timer Oliver Hermanus’ Cape Town-set drama ‘Shirley Adams,’ about a mother struggling to care for a disabled son; the return of Greek cinema with laffer ‘Akadimia Platonos,’ by Berlin-based Greek helmer Filippos Tsitos; and Blighty-based Chinese director-novelist Xiaolu Guo’s ‘She, a Chinese,’ which is backed by the U.K. Film Council and Film 4.

‘It’s a very diverse and rich competition, where there are experimental filmmakers working in a slightly more conventional manner. A return of sorts to more traditional narrative and acting rather than strong stylistic effects,’ Locarno’s artistic director Frederic Maire told Daily Variety.

The first Japanese toon competing in Locarno will be Mamoru Hosoda’s ‘Summer Wars,’ his follow-up to ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,’ which will complement the fest’s Manga Impact retro dedicated to Japanese anime auteurs.

The secondary competition, Filmmakers of the Present, dedicated to more edgy fare, includes road movie ‘A fuga, a raiva, a danca, a bunda, a boca, a calma, a vida da mulher gorilla,’ from Brazilian duo Felipe Braganca and Marina Meliande.

China is the region for this year’s Open Doors, the fest’s de facto projects mart, where the 12 selected projects include works from Hong Kong helmer Pang Ho-cheung (‘Isabella’) and Wang Xiaoshuai (‘In Love We Trust’) .

Italian stage thesp and filmmaker Pippo Delbono is being honored with a retrospective of his film and TV works, including the preem of Delbono’s latest pic ‘La Paura,’ filmed with a mobile phone. Maire called ‘La Paura’ ’emblematic of the current no-budget indie spirit.’

Other honorees include William Friedkin, who will receive this year’s Leopard of Honor, and Gallic producer Martine Marignac, who will be presented with the Raimondo Rezzonico Award, given to a producer who epitomizes the indie ethos. Italo thesp Toni Servillo (“Il Divo”) will receive Locarno’s Excellence Award.

The main jury will comprise U.S. helmer Jonathan Nossiter, South Korean helmer Hong Sang-soo, Gallic multihyphenate Pascal Bonitzer, German actress Nina Hoss, Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher, Spanish producer Luis Minarro and Jean-Marie Blanchand, former director of the Grand Theatre de Geneve.

This will be the final edition of Locarno headed by Maire, who is stepping down after four years. He will be succeeded by former Cannes Directors’ Fortnight topper Olivier Pere.

THE LOCARNO FILM FESTIVAL
PIAZZA GRANDE
“500 Days of Summer,” Marc Webb, U.S. (opener)
“Blue Sofa” (short), Giuseppe Baresi, Pippo Delbono, Lara Fremder, Italy
“The Two Horses of Genghis Khan” (closer), Byambasuren Davaa, Germany
“Giulias Verschwinden,” Christoph Schaub, Switzerland
“La Guerre des fils de la lumiere contre les fils des tenebres,” Amos Gitai, France
“The Valley,” Mihaly Gyorik, Switzerland-Italy-Hungary
“Les Derniers jours du monde,” Arnaud Larrieu and Jean-Marie Larrieu, France-Spain-Taiwan
“Les Yeux de Simone” (short), Jean-Louis Porchet, Switzerland-France
“My Sister’s Keeper,” Nick Cassavetes, U.S.
“Petit Indi,” Marc Recha, Spain-France
“Pom Poko,” Isao Takahata, Japan
“Redline,” Takeshi Koike, Japan
“Same Same but Different,” Detlev Buck, Germany
“Sounds and Silence,” Norbert Wiedmer and Peter Guyer, Switzerland
“Unter Bauern — Retter In Der Nacht,” Ludi Boeken, Germany-France

PIAZZA GRANDE MANGA NIGHT
“Mobile Suit Gundam,” Ryoji Fujiwara and Yoshiyuki Tomino, Japan
“La Maison en petits cubes” (short), Kunio Kato, Japan
“First Squad: The Moment of Truth,” Yoshiharu Asino, Misha Shprits and Aljoscha Klimov, Canada-Russia-Germany

INTL. COMPETITION
“A Religiosa portuguesa,” Eugene Green, Portugal-France
“Akadimia Platonos,” Filippos Tsitos, Greece-Germany
“Au voleur,” Sarah Leonor, France
“Buben Baraban,” Aleksei Mizgiryov, Russia
“Complices,” Frederic Mermoud, France-Switzerland
“Frontier Blues,” Babak Jalali, Iran-U.K.-Italy
“La Cantante de tango,” Diego Martinez Vignatti, Belgium-Argentina
“La Donation,” Bernard Emond, Canada
“La Invencion de la carne,” Santiago Loza, Argentina
“L’insurgee,” Laurent Perreau, France
“Nothing Personal,” Urszula Antoniak, Netherlands-Ireland
“The Famous and the Dead,” Esmir Filho, Brazil-France
“At the End of Daybreak,” Ho Yuhang, Malaysia-Hong Kong-South Korea
“She, a Chinese,” Xiaolu Guo, U.K.-France-Germany
“Shirley Adams,” Oliver Hermanus, South Africa-U.S.
“Summer Wars,” Mamoru Hosoda, Japan
“The Search,” Pema Tseden, China
“Where Are You?,” Masahiro Kobayashi, Japan

OUT OF COMPETITION
“La Paura,” Pippo Delbono, France

FILMMAKERS OF THE PRESENT COMPETITION
“A fuga, a raiva, a danca, a bunda, a boca, a calma, a vida da mulher gorilla,” Felipe Braganca and Marina Meliande, Brazil
“Castro,” Alejo Moguillansky, Argentina
“Greetings From the Woods,” Mikel Cee Karlsson, Sweden
“Ivul,” Andrew Kotting, France-Switzerland
“Warriors of Love,” Simon Staho, Denmark
“Men on the Bridge,” Asli Ozge, Germany-Turkey-Netherlands
“La Reine des pommes,” Valerie Donzelli, France
“Mirna,” Corso Salani, Italy
“Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai,” Mizuho Nishikubo, Japan
“Nikotoko Island,” Takuya Dairiki and Takashi Miura, Japan
“October Country,” Michael Palmieri and Donald Mosher, U.S.
“Piombo Fuso,” Stefano Savona, Italy
“Sogno il mondo il venerdi,” Pasquale Marrazzo, Italy
“The Anchorage,” C.W. Winter and Anders Edstrom, U.S.
“The Marsdreamers,” Richard Dindo, Switzerland-France
“Todos mienten,” Matias Pineiro, Argentina
“Un Transport en commun,” Dyana Gaye, France

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