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Festival buzz

Undoubtedly, the festival's most feverish moment has been the appearance of Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde and Jon Favreau.

Scoring all four Hollywood stars was quite a coup for Locarno. They were in town to promote the genre-bending action film Cowboys & Aliens, which had its European premiere on a sold-out Piazza Grande on August 6.

It was a big night for the film’s actors too, prompting twitter comments by the director @jonfavreau who thanked the audience for showing up and @oliviawilde who said: “Last night’s screening of Cowboys for 8,000 in Piazza Grande, Locarno felt like Cinema Paradiso. It was honestly the stuff of dreams.”

The festival organisers are crossing their fingers that the resulting media attention will help elevate Locarno’s status above that of “the smallest of the big festivals”.

Swiss deportation film Vol Spécial has also been a talking point. The film, which tackles the highly politicised issue of asylum seekers, is seen by many observers as a contender for the Golden Leopard award. Another favourite in the international competition is the Argentinian-Swiss tale of three sisters Abrir puertas y ventanas, as Swiss radio film critic Michael Sennhauser blogged.

Jessica Dacey in Locarno,

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR