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Locarno Film Festival presents leaner bill

The line-up for the 62nd Locarno Film Festival has been announced, with 14 world premiers to be screened.

Hollywood romantic comedy, 500 Days of Summer, and Mongolian epic, The Two Horses of Genghis Khan, will open and close the festival on August 5 and 15.

Sandwiched in between will be retrospectives of Japanese animation and Chinese films, documentaries and a day devoted to Swiss works. There are 18 films currently up for the international competition award and 37 short films in the running for Leopards of Tomorrow prizes.

Outgoing artistic director Frédéric Maire says the festival's strategy was to be more selective and offer fewer films than in previous years.

"We have reshaped the festival maybe in terms of being more aggressive, being thinner in terms of how many films are shown and more pertinent in terms of choices."

Two themes surface from this year's crop of films. Some works explore identity and migration issues, while others, such as the French comedy The Earth's Last Days, delve into humanity's troubled relationship with nature.

Maire will be replaced in September by Olivier Père, artistic director of the Cannes' Directors Fortnight.

During the festival, Locarno's Piazza Grande becomes home to the largest open-air film screen in Europe, attracting around 60,000 visitors.

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