One of Europe’s most critically acclaimed auteurs, Assayas won Cannes’ director prize last year for “Personal Shopper,” a supernatural drama with Kristen Stewart. “Clouds of Sils Maria” also competed at Cannes and earned Stewart a Cesar for best actress. Most recently, Assayas penned the script of Roman Polanski’s “Based on a True Story” which played out of competition at this year’s Cannes.
“As an auteur for whom formal research is tied to narrative requirements, Assayas has proved adept at always bringing out the talent of his cast,” the Locarno festival said, citing the “remarkable female roles played by actresses such as Emmanuelle Béart, Maggie Cheung, Virginie Ledoyen, Connie Nielsen and Kristen Stewart.”
Assayas’ international jury will select the winner of the festival’s Grand Prize, the Golden Leopard, as well as a Special Jury Prize and the Leopard prizes.
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Locarno has also tapped Egyptian director Yousry Nasrallah, whose latest film “Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces” played at Locarno, to preside over the Filmmakers of the Present jury, and Sabine Azema, a popular French actress who starred in many films by Alain Resnais, to preside over the Filmmakers of Tomorrow jury.
Locarno will take place Aug.2-12. The festival’s full lineup will be unveiled on July 12.