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Locarno unveils high-profile lineup

'Cowboys and Aliens' among Hollywood fare at fest

The 64th Locarno Film Festival has unveiled a high-profile lineup, comprising a larger contingent of established international auters, along with first-timer helmers, and also featuring some hot Hollywood blockbusters, such as “Cowboys & Aliens,” for its second edition under artistic topper Olivier Pere.

“Cowboys & Aliens” stars Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde, and helmer Jon Favreau are expected to make the trek to Locarno’s 7,000-seat Piazza Grande for Universal’s international launch of the graphic novel adaptation.

After putting his stamp on the venerable Swiss fest last year by slimming down the selection and giving it more edge, Pere has assembled a markedly more diverse mix this time.

The 20-title competish features 14 world preems. These include some buzzed-about new works by known names, such as U.S. helmer Julia Loktev’s “The Loneliest Planet,” starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Romanian auteur Adrian Sitaru’s “Best Intentions,” his followup to “Hooked,” and Palestinian filmmaker Tawfik Abu Wael’s drama “Last Days in Jerusalem.”

All three directors are Locarno aficionados.

But it’s the first time for Gallic helmer Nicolas Klotz, who will bow his immigration-themed “Low Life.” Others that Pere is proud to have lured to the fest include Franco-Algerian auteur Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche, whose costume drama “Smugglers’ Songs,” about an 18th-century Robin Hood, will unspool in competish, and Gaul’s Emmanuel Mouret, whose eclectic romancer “The Art of Love” will world preem on the Piazza Grande.

“I think this edition is really much stronger because we are lucky to have a very large number of important films from established directors,” Pere told Variety.

As for titles unspooling nightly on the Piazza Grande, Pere has revitalized the section by mixing summer blockbusters and auteur films.

Fest opener is Paramount’s “Super 8,” sans talent in tow, on the Piazza Grande, where U.S. helmer Kevin Smith’s Christian fundamentalism-themed thriller “Red State” will also unspool.

Titles unspooling on the Piazza Grande, which is Europe’s largest open-air venue, will be eligible for Variety’s Piazza Grande Award presented to a film combining artistic merit and commercial appeal.

Fest will run Aug. 3-13. Go to variety.com for the full list.

2011 LOCARNO LINEUP

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

“Back to Stay,” Milagros Mumenthaler, Argentina

“Another Earth,” Mike Cahill, U.S.

“Beirut Hotel,” Danielle Arbid, Lebanon

“Crulic — The Path to Beyond,” Anca Damian, Romania

“Last Screening,” Laurent Achard, France

“Best Intentions,” Adrian Sitaru, Romania

“Year of the Tiger,” Sebastian Lelio, Chile

“Policeman,” Nadav Lapid, Israel

“Smugglers’ Songs,” Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche, France

“Low Life,” Nicolas Klotz, France

“Mangrove,” Frederic Choffat and Julie Gilbert, Switzerland

“Among Us,” Marco Van Geffen, The Netherlands

“Saudade,” Katsuya Tomita, Japan

“Seven Acts of Mercy,” Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, Italy

“Last Days in Jerusalem,” Tawfik Abu Wael, Israel, France, Germany

“Terri,” Azazel Jacobs, U.S.

The Loneliest Planet,” Julia Loktev, U.S., Germany

“Tokyo Koen,” Shinji Aoyama, Japan

“Goodbye First Love,” Mia Hansen-Love, France

“Vol Special,” Fernand Melgar, Switzerland

PIAZZA GRANDE

“Super 8,” J.J. Abrams, U.S. (Festival Opener)

“Headhunters,” Morten Tyldum, Norway, Denmark, Germany

“Hell,” Tim Fehlbaum, Germany, Switzerland

“Friends With Benefits,” Will Gluck, U.S.

“Mourir aupres de toi,” Spike Jonze, Simon Cahn, France (Short)

“Attack the Block,” Joe Cornish, U.K.

“Cowboys & Aliens,” Jon Favreau, U.S.

“Drive,” Nicolas Winding Refn, U.S.

“L’Art d’aimer,” Emmanuel Mouret, France

“Red State,” Kevin Smith, U.S.

“Romance,” Georges Schwizgebel, Switzerland (Short)

“Bachir lazhar,” Philippe Falardeau, Canada

“4 Days in May,” Achim von Borries, Germany, Russia, Ukraine

“Le Havre,” Aki Kaurismaki, Finland, France, Germany

“Of Women and Horses,” Patricia Mazuy, France, Germany

“Scabbard Samurai,” Hitoshi Matsumoto, Japan

“An American in Paris,” Vincente Minnelli, U.S.

“And if We All Lived Together,” Stephane Robelin, France, Germany

OUT OF COMPETITION

“1 Due 100 Officine,” Danilo Catti, Switzerland

“Buenas noches, Espana” Raya Martin, Spain, Philippines

“Carte Blanche,” Heidi Specogna, Switzerland, Germany

“Els noms de Christ,” Albert Serra, Spain

“Glauser,” by Christoph Kuhn, Switzerland

“Gottard Schuh. Una visione sensuale del mondo,” Villi Hermann, Switzerland

“Inconscio Italiano,” Luca Guadagnino, Italy

“Let the Bullets Fly,” Jiang Wen, China

“Milano 55%,” Luca Mosso and Bruno Oliviero, Italy

“Ninifuni,” Tetsuya Mariko, Japan

“Tahrir,” Stefano Savona, Italy, France

“Beats Being Dead,” Christian Petzold, Germany

“Don’t Follow Me Around,” Dominik Graf, Germany

“One Minute of Darkness,” Christoph Hochhausler, Germany

JEONJU DIGITAL PROJECT

“An Heir,” Jean-Marie Straub, South Korea

“Memories of a Morning,” Jose Luis Guerin, South Korea

“To the Devil,” Claire Denis, South Korea

CORRESPONDANCES FILMEES

“Carta para serra,” Lisandro Alonso, Argentina, Spain

“Lord Worked Wonders in Me,” Albert Serra, Spain

FILMMAKERS OF THE PRESENT COMPETITION

“It’s the Earth not the Moon,” Goncalo Tocha, Portugal

“El arbol de las fresas,” Simone Rapisarda Casanova, Canada

“The Student,” Santiago Mitre, Argentina

“Hanaan,” Ruslan Pak, South Korea, Uzbekistan

“Mr Tree,” Jie Han, China

“L’Estate di Giacomo,” Alessandro Comodin, Italy, France, Belgium

“Nana,” Valerie Massadian, France

“Papirosen,” Gaston Solnicki, Argentina

“Senorita,” Vincent Sandoval, Philippines

“Sunny Days,” Nariman Turebayev, Kazakhstan

“The Sun Beaten Path,” Sonthar Gyal, China

“The Color Wheel,” Alex Ross Perry, U.S.

“The Substance — Albert Hoffmann’s LSD,” Martin Witz, Switzerland

“Without,” Mark Jackson, U.S.

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