‘Accessible diva’ Laetitia Casta wins Locarno excellence award

Laetitia Casta at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017 Keystone / Alastair Grant

French model and actress Laetitia Casta will receive the Excellence Award Davide Campari 2021 from the Locarno Film Festival in southern Switzerland.

This content was published on June 10, 2021 - 14:47

The ceremony for the award, given to artistic figures who have influenced contemporary cinema, will take place on August 4 in the Piazza Grande, where two films chosen by Casta will then be screened: Gainsbourg (vie héroïque) (Gainsbourg: A heroic life), in which Casta played Brigitte Bardot, and L’homme fidèle (The Faithful Man) by Louis Garrel.

The following day Casta will take part in a panel conversation with the public, the festival said in a statementExternal link on Thursday.

“Laetitia Casta personifies a highly modern concept of cinema, in tune with the ongoing transformation of audiences and moving images,” said Giona A. Nazzaro, artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival, which is taking place for the 74th time from August 4-14.

“Her artistic research has led her to work with some of the most innovative filmmakers of recent times, while conserving the unique and unmistakable acting style typical of classic cinema.  Her ability to be both sophisticated and popular, an accessible diva, the bearer of a cultivated, strategic and profoundly European glamour, makes Laetitia Casta an emblematic figure of the kind of cinema of which Locarno is an expression,” Nazarro said.

Casta, 43, began her career in modelling and in 1999 was chosen to be the new model for the bust of Marianne, an allegorical symbol of the French Republic which stands inside every French town hall. The same year she made her film debut in Asterix & Obelix vs. Caesar, in which she played Obelix’s love interest, Panacea.

Over the years, Casta has reinvented herself with a particular mix of patience and tenacity, according to the film festival.

“She did it on the big screen with international auteurs like Raúl Ruiz (Savage Souls) and Tsai Ming-Liang (Face) as well as on the small screen, with masters of Italian cinema (Luisa Sanfelice, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani),” said the statement, which also mentioned her appearances in a music video with Rihanna (Te Amo) and on stage in Florian Zeller’s Elle t’attend (she is waiting for you).

Previous winners of the Excellence Award Davide Campari include Toni Servillo, Isabelle Huppert, Christopher Lee, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke.

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