Upcoming movies from two Argentine filmmakers, Lucrecia Martel’s “Chocobar” and Mari Alessandrini’s “Zahori,” won the top Pardo 2020 Awards at the Locarno Film Festival’s The Films After Tomorrow, its highest-profile competition, the festival announced Friday.
Of other major plaudits in The Films After Tomorrow, a section highlighting COVID-19-hit productions, “Savagery,” from Portugal’s Miguel Gomes, scooped the strand’s Special Jury Prize. Its prize for most innovative project went to “The Fabric of the Human Body,” from Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor.
The top awards – Martel and Alessandrini winning Pardos for best international and Swiss projects, respectively, which both come with SFr 70,000 ($77,000) cash prizes – went to movie projects that explore themes of race, or the malpractice of supposedly unimpeachable authority.
Lead produced by Argentina’s Rei Cine, “Chocobar,” a hybrid creative documentary, sees Martel double down on the historical and cultural context of the assassination in 2007 of indigenous activist Javier Chocobar, which she attributes to “Argentine racism.” “Zahori” traces the unusual relationship struck on the Patagonian Steppe between a girl, aged 13, from Switzerland’s Ticino, and an aged Mapuche man.
“Savagery” – freely adapting from Euclides da Cunha’s novel, “Rebellion in the Backlands” – recounts the slaughter in 1897 Brazil of the 15,000 mixed-race inhabitants of Canudos, victims of a religious cult, by soldiers of Brazil’s newly-created Brazilian Republic.
“The Fabric of the Human Body” is a doc feature on cutting-edge medicine’s dubious bio-ethics; Raphael Dubach and Mateo Ybarra’s “Lux,” which won a TV advertising campaign worth SFr100,000 ($110,000) from Swiss public broadcaster SRG SSR, is another doc feature, a deadpan comedy about a huge Swiss military exercise in 2019.
Top prizes in the Pardo di Domani, Locarno’s short film section and its main festival competition this year, went in the international section to “I Ran From It and Was Still in It,” in which L.A.-based filmmaker Darol Olu Kae examines the loss of his father and relocation of his children while painting a broader picture of race and family in the U.S.; and, in the Swiss section, to Jonas Ulrich’s “People on Saturday,” a take, via a series of droll vignettes, on how the Swiss send their Saturday afternoons. They are curious folk, Ulrich maintains.
THE FILMS AFTER TOMORROW
“Chocobar,” (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina, U.S., Denmark, Mexico)
“Savagery,” (Miguel Gomes, Portugal, France, Brazil, China, Greece)
“Fabric of the Human Body,” (Verena Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, France, U.S.)
“Zahorí,” (Marí Alessandrini, Switzerland, Argentina, Chile, France)
SRG SSR Award
“Lux,” (Raphaël Dubach, Mateo Ybarra, Switzerland)
PARDI DI DOMANI
Pardino d’oro SSR SRG for the best international short film
“I Ran from It and Was Still in It,” (Darol Olu Kae, U.S.)
Pardino d’argento SRG SSR, for an international short film
“History of Civilization,” (Zhannat Alshanova, Kazakhstan)
Medien Patent Verwaltung Prize
“A Trip to Heaven,” (Linh Duong, Vietnam, Singapore)
“Life on the Horn,” (Mo Harawe, Somalia, Austria, Germany)
Pardino d’oro Swiss Life, best Swiss short film
“People on Saturday,” (Jonas Ulrich, Switzerland)
(Locarno Short Film Candidate for the European Film Awards)
Pardino d’argento Swiss Life, for a Swiss short film
“Black Hole,” (Tristan Aymon, Switzerland)
Best Swiss Newcomer Prize
“Salmon Men,” (Veronica L. Montaño, Manuela Leuenberger, Joel Hofmann, Switzerland)
The Films After Tomorrow Youth Jury
Best International Project
“Cidade;Campo,” (Juliana Rojas, Brazil)
Award to the best Swiss project
“Azor,” (Andreas Fontana, Switzerland, France, Argentina)
Environment Is Quality of Life Prize
“Eureka,” (Lisandro Alonso, France, Portugal, Germany, Argentina, Mexico)
Pardi di Domani Youth Jury
Best International Short Film
“Red Aninsri; Or, Tiptoeing on the Still Trembling Berlin Wall,” (Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke, Thailand)
Best Swiss short film
“Black Hole,” (Tristan Aymon, Switzerland)
Open Doors Screenings Youth Jury
Best Short Film
“A Gift,” (Aditya Ahmad, Indonesia)
“Liar Land,” (Ananth Subramaniam, Malaysia)
Environment Is Quality of Life Prize, Best Feature Film
“Sell Out!,” (Yeo Joon Han, Malaysia)
“Clash,” (Pepe Diokno, Philippines)