Hope (pictured left) whose career spans over 35 years, has been selected to receive the prize given by prominent the Swiss fest dedicated to indie cinema in recognition of his ability to “bring new and unexpected voices into the spotlight.”
The prize is named after former Locarno fest president Raimondo Rezzonico.
Previous recipients of the Rezzonico award include Mike Medavoy, Jeremy Thomas, Christine Vachon, and David Linde.
After studying film at NYU Hope in 1990 founded production company Good Machine in New York, with James Schamus and produced the first Ang Lee films including “The Wedding Banquet” (1993) and “Eat Drink Man Woman” (1994), which both earned Oscar nominations.
Lee’s “The Ice Storm” (1997) followed and screened that year on Locarno 8,000-seat outdoor Piazza Grande.
During the same period Good Machine produced Todd Solondz’s breakout “Happiness,” Lee’s “Ride With The Devil,” (1999) and Todd Fields’ “In the Bedroom,” which scored numerous prizes. Hope went on to shepherd other standout indie titles such as “The Brothers McMullen,” by Edward Burns (1995) and “American Splendor” by Sheri Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, based on the life of the cartoonist Harvey Pekar.
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In 2015 Hope was hired by Amazon to oversee the production of feature films. He’s been instrumental since then to bringing to the screen pluriprized pics such as Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea” (2016) and “The Big Sick,” which won last year’s Piazza Grande audience award.
In his first year at Amazon Studios, the Amazon team distributed 14 films, scoring seven Oscars and five Golden Globe nominations. This year Hope is supporting the work of prominent indie directors such as Lynne Ramsay, Spike Lee, Gus Van Sant and Lauren Greenfield.
Amid the increasing encroachment of marketing considerations upon moviemaking “Ted Hope embodies a role-model figure for those who consider cinema to be a vehicle for making original and different voices heard,” said Locarno artistic director Carlo Chatrian in a statement.
“As simple in his way of presenting himself as he is in his production choices, in thirty years [either] as an independent producer or in the Amazon Studios team, Ted Hope has not changed his relationship with the directors and the films he supports,” Chatrian noted.
Hope will be honored August 2 on the Piazza Grande stage. The tribute will be followed by screenings of a selection of films from his career. He will hold an onstage conversation on August 3.