Chinese documentary filmmaker Wang Bing has won the top Golden Leopard prize for his film “Mrs Fang” at the 70th Locarno Film Festival. The film is a moving portrait of a family looking after a dying farmer, filmed during the last ten days of her life.
Bing’s documentary was awarded the festival’s top prize on Saturday evening for its sober look at a family waiting to say farewell to their elderly mother Fang Xiuying, who has been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease for eight years.
After a stay at a nursing home, her family brings her home, and the film focuses on their final days together before her death in 2016.
Bing is considered one of China's leading documentary film makers. He has also been a member of the Locarno jury in the past.
The runner-up Special Jury Prize went to Brazilian horror film "As Boas Maeiras" (Good Manners) by directors Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas.
France's F. J. Ossang took Best Director for "9 Fingers" and French actress Isabelle Huppert went home with the Best Actress award for her role as Mrs. Hyde in French director Serge Bozon's film of the same name.
Danish actor Elliott Crosset Hove also won the Best Actor award for his role in Icelandic director Hlynur Palmason's debut film "Winter Brothers".
The ten-day film festival takes place every summer in the southern Italian-speaking Swiss city, which is transformed into a place of pilgrimage for film-lovers, actors and directors. During the event, the city’s main square, the Piazza Grande, is turned into one of the world’s largest open-air screening venues seating 8,000.