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Countdown to the awards

The Locarno Film Festival stages one of Europe's largest outdoor cinemas


With around 260 films on offer at the Locarno Film Festival, people have to rise early if they want to keep up.

It’s day ten and already in the 9am slot there are five films to choose from. In one, Barbara Streisand stars in a Vincente Minnelli work from 1970, part of this year’s retrospective into the Oscar-winning director. Or there are Swiss-Kazakh and Swiss-Tibetan productions from the filmmakers of today category, an Arabic-Hebrew piece figuring in the international competition, and an Italian mafia film that comes with a warning of shocking scenes. Another 46 auteur, genre and mainstream films will be shown before the day is out.

It’s the perfect antidote to the 28 degree Celsius heat in the southern Swiss lakeside town.

There are now less than 36 hours to go until the festival's climax, when the best films in competition are announced, including the coveted Golden Leopard award.

Jessica Dacey in Locarno,

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