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Leopard for "Godless"

Locarno Film Festival comes to a close

In the end, the jury of the 69th International Locarno Film Festival decided as expected: the Golden Leopard award went to the socially critical thriller "Godless". And the Romanian-German co-production "Vernarbte Herzen" (Scarred Hearts), depicting the life of the poet Max Blecher, received the festival’s other top award, the Special Jury Prize.

With their decisions, the jury, headed by Mexican star director Arturo Ripstein, confirmed the festival organisers’ intention to equally promote traditional narrative cinema and high-quality experimental productions.

The award for Best Director went to João Pedro Rodrigues of Portugal for “The Ornithologist”. The Bulgarian Irena Ivanova was voted best actress for her portrayal of a crime-entangled geriatric caregiver in “Godless”, and best actor was Andrzej Seweryn of Poland, for his interpretation of the painter Zdzislaw Beksinski (1929-2005) in the Polish film “The Last Family”.

Although the German films “Paula” and “Before the Dawn” were considered favourites for the public award, the audience decided instead for veteran director Ken Loach’s English co-production “I, Daniel Blake”.

The French-Swiss coproduction “Moka” by Frédéric Mermoud won the Variety Piazza Grande Award. And “La Sève" by Swiss director Manon Groupil won the Best Swiss Newcomer Award.

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