Splendour. Glamour. Grandeur. All these things and many more describe just what the Locarno International Film Festival, held in Switzerland’s city of Locarno every August, represents. The magnificent Piazza Grande town is filled with intense festivities, as over 8000 attendants join together to view feature films in the most unique open-air screening area. This makes the Locarno International Film Festival a one of a kind event, collecting superstars and celebrities of the highest class under one open roof.
What is a film festival without awards? Locarno International Film Festival keeps that question in mind while presenting a huge number of awards for various categories, giving prizes to both newcomers and old veterans for their outstanding masterpieces and performances. Among some of the awards given, the most notable ones are:
- International Competition Awards – For best directors, actors, actresses, and the special jury-selected award for the runner-up. The ‘Pardo d’oro’, or the ‘Golden Leopard’, is the most prestigious award of them all, which is granted to the top best movie. Both the first and the second prize are shared among the producer and the director.
- Film-makers of the Present Awards – Granting broadcast rights to the winners of the best films shown in the competition features.
- Leopards of the Tomorrow Awards – A sub-division of prizes given to stunning short films that are shown for the first time in international film festivals. Even additions such as subtitles and video editing are also awarded.
The Awards Keep On Coming
Other than the regular awards, Locarno International Film Festival takes pride in awarding special categories and mentions exemplary contributions of unsung heroes. Some of these are, Leopard of Honor (given to passionate film directors), Excellence Award (given to enriching cinematic talents. This award is sponsored by the winery company Moët & Chandon), Best Independent Producer Award (a tribute to legendary figures, with notable winners being Paulo Branco, Jeremy Thomas, Nansun Shi etc.), Vision Award (given to the geniuses who relentlessly work behind the scenes), and Lifetime Achievement Award (speaks for itself. Armin Mueller-Stahl the 83-year-old German actor won this award in 2014).
All in all, the Locarno International Film Festival makes sure that previously unknown filmmakers are given a chance to bask in the spotlight. The best phrase to explain their motives would be: “To give credit where it is due”, which is a valuable trait to have for any event concerning cinematic talents of all shapes and forms.