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Golden Leopard Locarno Film Festival declared overwhelming success

Movie watchers at the Locarno Film Festival

Movie watchers enjoy the opening night at the Locarno Film Festival.

(Keystone / Urs Flueeler)

The organisers of the Locarno Film Festival have declared the 72nd edition of the long-running event a complete success. Some 157,500 people flocked to the southern Swiss city for the 11-day event, a slight increase on the previous edition.

“I feel very happy and satisfied with my first edition,” said the festival’s new artistic director Lili Hinstin. “Locarno has the best audience and we are very lucky to be able to present the films we choose in this context.”

She added that “it was surprising to realize how much cinema can still become an instrument of awareness, which leads us to believe in the great utopia that cinema knows how to create.”

The festival ended on Saturday with “Vitalina Varela” by Portuguese director Pedro Costa winning the Golden Leopard prize for the best movie. Vitalina Varela was judged best actress for her role in the eponymous film.

Damien Manivel from France won the Silver Leopard prize as best director for his film “Les enfants d'Isadora”. The award for best male actor went to Regis Myrupu who starred in the Brazilian movie A Febre (The Fever).

Some 1,039 representatives of the film industry and 855 journalists and photographers were accredited for the event.

Locarno Film Festivalexternal link president Marco Solari said his efforts would be focused on presenting future editions.

“The festival must succeed in maintaining its high artistic quality in order to remain an important economic source for the entire region and a platform for international political meetings that are useful for Ticino and Switzerland,” he said.

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