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Locarno Unveils High-Profile Lineup

New topper Chatrian makes diversity his ‘mantra’

ROME — The 66th Locarno Film Festival has unveiled a promisingly diverse lineup, comprising a greater number of established international auteurs, along with newcomers, and also crowdpleasers such as Richard Curtis-helmed time-travel romcom “About Time,” from Universal, for its first edition under new artistic topper Carlo Chatrian.

As previously announced, the Swiss shindig will kick off August 7 with the international launch of Baltasar Kormakur’s buddy cop actioner “2 Guns,” unspooling August 7 on the fest’s 8,000-seat outdoor Piazza Grande venue with the Icelandic helmer in tow. Sony is handling most international territories.

“I am very happy about the positive response we’ve had from the majors this year,” said Chatrian, whose first move, once installed, was to fly to L.A.

That said, the venerable fest dedicated to quality cinema and discoveries, has not lost its edge, and Chatrian is making “diversity of the mix my mantra.”

Other titles unspooling on the Piazza Grande include the world preems of Quebecois filmmaker Louise Archambault’s buzzed-about “Gabrielle,” about a mentally challenged young woman eager for romance and Milan-set noir “The Human Factor” by Italo first-timer Bruno Oliviero; and also Chilean helmer Sebastian Lelio’s “Gloria,” which was a Berlin fest fave.

Piazza Grande pics will compete for the Prix du Public audience award and the Variety Piazza Grande Award given by Variety critics to the best fest title unspooling on Europe’s largest open-air venue combining artistic excellence and commercial potential.

The 20-title competish features 18 world preems and is characterized by a strong Asian contingent.

Two Asian entries are from Japan: the world preem of  Locarno regular Shinji Aoyama’s sadistic sex psychodrama “Backwater,” and the international preem of sci-fier “Real,” from prolific helmer Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Tokyo Sonata).

Also from Asia, is the world preem of South Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo’s latest drama “Our Sunhi,” which follows his “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon,” which competed earlier this year in Berlin.

From Taiwan is country-set delicate coming-of-ager “A Time in Quchi,” by Chang Tso-chi (Soul of a Demon), a former assistant of Hou Hsiao-hsien.

European pics competing for the Golden Leopard comprise Catalan helmer Albert Serra’s eclectic Casanova-meets-Dracula pic “Story of My Death,” and Italo helmer Pippo Delbono’s drama “Sangue,” partly shot with an iPhone.

The U.S. is repped by SXSW winner “Short Term 12,” writer-director Destin Cretton’s sophomore work set in a house for damaged adolescents and starring Brie Larson.

The more cutting-edge Cineasts of the Present section is mostly first works (14 out 16 entries), including Matt Johnson’s Slamdance standout “The Dirties,” about school bullies.

“It was important for me to really differentiate the main competition from the Cineasts of the Present,” Chatrian said.

Heading the main competition jury is Filipino auteur Lav Diaz whose latest work “Norte, the End of History” recently unspooled at Cannes.

As previously announced, the Locarno closer will be Gallic docu “On the Way to School,” helmed by Pascal Plisson, about four kids overcoming obstacles to make their way from home to the classroom in four different corners of the world. “School” will unspool on the Piazza Grande on August 17.

2013 LOCARNO LINEUP

PIAZZA GRANDE

“2 Guns,” Baltasar Kormakur, U.S.

“Vijay and I,” Sam Garbarski, Belgium,Luxembourg,Germany

“La Variabile Umana,” Bruno Oliviero, Italy

“Wrong Cops,” Quentin Dupieux, U.S.

“We’re the Millers,” Rawson Marshall Thurber, U.S.

The Keeper of Lost Causes,” Mikkel Norgaard, Denmark, Germany,Sweden

“Les Grandes Ondes” (A L’ouest), Lionel Baier,  Switzerland,France,Portugal

“Rich and Famous,” George Cukor, U.S.

Gabrielle,”Louise Archambault,Canada

“L’experience Blocher,”Jean-Stephane Bron, Switzerland,France

“Gloria,”Sebastian Lelio, Chile

“Mr. Morgan’s Last Love,”Sandra Nettelbeck, Germany, Belgium

Blue Ruin,” Jeremy Saulnier, U.S.

“About Time,” Richard Curtis, U.K.

“Fitzcarraldo,”Werner Herzog,Germany,Peru

“Sur Le Chemin De L’ecole,”Pascal Plisson, France

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

“Cand se lasa seara peste Bucaresti sau metabolism,” Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania

“E agora? Lembre-me,”Joaquim Pinto, Portugal

“Educao Sentimental,”Julio Bressane, Brazil

“El Mudo,”Daniel and Diego Vega, Peru, France, Mexico

“Exhibition,” by Joanna Hogg, U.K.

“Feuchtgebiete,”David Wnendt, Germany

“Gare Du Nord,”Claire Simon, France, Canada

“Historia De La Meva Mort,”Albert Serra, Spain, France

“L’etrange couleur des larmes de ton corps,”Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani, Belgium, France, Luxembourg

“Mary, Queen of Scots,” Thomas Imbach, Switzerland, France

“Pays Barbare,” Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, France

“Real,” by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan

Sangue,” Pippo Delbono, Italy, Switzerland

Short Term 12,” Destin Cretton, U.S.

“Shu Jia Zuo Ye,” Tso chi Chang, Taiwan

“Tableau Noir,” Yves Yersin, Switzerland

“Tomogui,” Shinji Aoyama, Japan

“Tonnerre,” Guillaume Brac, France

“U ri Sunhi,” Sangsoo Hong, South Korea

“Une Autre Vie,” Emmanuel Mouret, France

For the complete lineup go to: http://www.pardolive.ch/en/Pardo-Live/today-at-the-festival

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