Festival del film Locarno

Founded in 1946, the International Film Festival Locarno belongs to the most important festivals in the world. One of its famous attractions are the open air screenings on the Piazza Grande in the old city accommodating up to 8000 spectators. The main prize of the festival is the Pardo d'Oro, the Golden Leopard (since 1968). The festival hosts the oldest Ecumenical Jury which was established in 1973 following a suggestion by then festival director Moritz de Hadeln.

Festival History: 


History - Awards of the Ecumenical Jury since 1973


2016 (44)


Godless, by Ralitza Petrova, Bulgaria/Denmark/France 2016

“Godless” tells the story of a young woman, Gana, who works as a caretaker in a Bulgarian city.  As part of a crime ring, she steals the ID cards of her patients. Due to an unjust society, limited choices, and a painful personal history, she lives in a cold, hard world without compassion or love. Gana yearns for a release from the pain in her life. The film is a profound cry out of the depths of misery, and it explores vital questions. Will her lamentation be heard? Finally, what is the path toward liberation in a devastatingly corrupt society? 


Mister Universo, by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, Austria/Italy 2016

“Mister Universo” is set within the world of a circus. The main character, after losing a totem from his childhood, begins a quest to replace the lost object.  On his journey, Tairo discovers the nature of human relationships, the importance of family and his true identity.

Marija, directed by Michael Koch, Germany/Switzerland 2016

“Marija” tells the story of a Ukrainian woman in Germany who seeks a better life, despite the many obstacles facing immigrants such as herself. The film is a narrative for women from Eastern European countries who often struggle to survive by selling their bodies. Marija pursues her dream by using her intelligence, relational skills and her deep conviction to persevere.

The Jury: Paul E. Block (USA); Walter Chikwendu Ihejirika (Nigeria); Charles Martig (Switzerland); Martina Schmidt (Switzerland); Werner Schneider-Quindeau (Germany), President.


2015 (43)


Paradise│Ma Dar Behesht, by Sina Ataeian Dena, Iran/Germany 2015

A strong and courageous Iranian film about the daily life of Hanieh, a young female teacher working in primary school in Teheran’s southern suburbs. Thanks to spare moments of freedom one can experience a sense of hope despite the oppressive conditions Iranian women have to endure.


Jigeumeun Matgo Geuttaeneun Teullida │Right now – whrong then

by Hong Sangsoo, South Corea 2015

A film about love, honesty, integrity and the courage to go beyond social barriers. With tender humour it shows how small variations open up wider possibilities.

Bella Perduta, by Pietro Marcello, Italy 2015

A prophetic tale about a true story on respect and care of our “common House”. Not only a political statement, but also a poetic experience.

The Jury: Fr. Martin Ernesto Bernal Alonso, Castelar (Argentina), Gaёlle Courtens, Rom (Italy), P. Franz Xaver Hiestand, SJ, Luzern (Switzerland),  Ola Sigurdson, Gothenburg (Sweden), Thomas Wipf, Winterthur (Switzerland), Catherine Wong, Hong Kong, President.


2014 (42)


Durak │The fool, by Yuri Bykov, Russia 2014

The film tells a powerful and inspiring story which denounces a conflictual and corrupt political system in one day of the life of a small Russian town. Dima Nikitin, a young father and determined worker-student, goes against the social current with courage, honesty, humility and deep sense of responsibility. Through compelling acting and photography, the film paints a realistic portrait of radical goodness.

The jury: Andreas Engelschalk, Wetzlar (Germany), President; Alyda Faber, Halifax (Canada); Blanca Maria Monzón, Buenos Aires (Argentina); Milja Radovic, Edinburgh (United Kingdom/Croatia); Ingrid Ruillat, Lyon (France); Florin-Ioan Silaghi, Bucharest (Romania) 


2013 (41)


Short Term 12, directed by Destin Cretton, USA 2013

The film tells a strong story about teenagers on the dark side of society. It addresses abuse and trauma in a direct style, outlining commitment and solidarity between the supervisors and the temporary inhabitants. Based on strong relationships the main character Grace finds the courage to deal with the troubled past and to look at a future beyond violence.


Tableau noir, directed by Yves Yersin, Switzerland 2013

Yves Yersin presents a moving documentary about the closing down of a school in the Swiss mountains. With strong and sensitive images he shows how to teach children to trust life – a film of hope and joy.

The jury: Thomas Bohne OR, Leipzig (Germany); Lucia Cuocci, Rome (Italy); Piet Halma, Baarn (The Netherlands); Françoise Lods, Paris (France); Daria Pezzoli–Olgiati, Zurich (Switzerland), President; Edgar Rubio, Acapulco (Mexico)



to Dr. Albert Gnägi, Zürich

at the 66th Festival del Film Locarno to acknowledge and honour his generosity due to the presence of the Ecumenical Jury sponsoring during twenty years the ecumenical reception (Laudatio by Hans Hodel and Charles Martig)


2012 (40)


Une Estonienne à ParisA Lady in Paris, directed by Ilmar Raag, France/Estonia/Belgium 2012

Through the story of two Estonian women in Paris, the director shows difficulties of life and communication between persons from the same culture, but from different stations in life. Movingly exploring the themes of loss, aging, love, grieving, giving and encountering the other, this film is elegantly shot and superbly acted.


Der Glanz des Tages The Shine of Day, directed by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, Austria 2012

The film tells us about Walter, an elderly man and former circus artist, who is looking for his family roots and meets his nephew, an upcoming theatre actor. The documentary form enables the audience to closely follow the two protagonists and to understand what makes life for them worthwhile. The film shows how someone can transform the life of one’s neighbour by being there for the other even if it is risky.

The jury: Guido Convents, Brussels (Belgium); Julia Helmke, Hannover (Germany), President; Ákos Lázár Kovács, Budapest (Hungary): Gabriella Lettini, Berkeley (USA); Denyse Muller, Arles (France);

Benjamin Ruch, Baden (Switzerland)


2011 (39)


Vol Spécial, by Fernand Melgar, Switzerland 2011

In his touching and authentic documentary Fernand Melgar leads the audience into the Frambois detention center where ordinary people never go and where hopes and fears of different men culminate. Guards as well as detainees act human under inhuman conditions, so the spectator is enabled to see them all as individuals with a family, religion and their own dignity, lacking only justice.


Onder ons, by Marco Van Geffen, Netherlands 2011

Done with considerable craftsmanship this film shows us that the subtle Xenophobia of western people, often covered only by a thin layer of cultural conventions, distracts from the fact, that violence and lack of communication are generic issues of the clean and “well organized” suburbs.

Abrir puertas y ventanas, by Milagros Mumenthaler, Argentina/Switzerland 2011

Three different orphan sisters left alone in a beautiful house full of past memories have to cope with becoming an adult. Evoking a dense atmosphere, Mumenthaler shows that there are various, sometimes

painful, ways becoming an individual and that although memory guides us to accept the present, one still has doors and windows to open.

The jury Sanne E. Grunnet, Kopenhagen (Denmark); Daria Lepori, Lugano (Switzerland); Ieva Pitruka, Riga (Latvia); Konstantin Terzis, Athen (Greece); Joachim Valentin, Frankfurt a/M (Germany) President, Christian Wessely, Graz (Austria)


2010 (38)


Morgen │Morgen, by Marian Crisan, France/Romania/Hungary 2010

Nelu, a Romanian market security guard, befriends an illegal Turkish immigrant. Somehow this would be impossible in today’s world. However, in cinema it is a heartwarming series of events that override language and cultural barriers to unveil similarities in life and compassion for the human experience.


Han Jia │ Winter Vacation, by Li Hongqi, China 2010

Through a series of constructed images, long takes, and brief often humerous dialogue, Li Hongqi describes the last day of a winter vacation in a melancholy but heartwarming point of view.

Karamay │Karamay, by Xu Xin, China 2010

for an excellent and courageous testimony to a huge tragedy. Within a framework of cultural tradition that sacrifices the individuals to collective welfare, the lack of leaders’ integrity brought nearly 300 children to horrible death by fire. Shocking emotional interviews of victims edited with footage of the event, awakens the consciousness to necessary personal responsibility.

The jury: Cynthia Chambers, Culver City, (USA); Charles Martig, Zürich (Switzerland); Angelika Obert, Berlin (Germany), President; Michael Otrisal, Prague (Czech Republique); Théo Peporte, Luxembourg (G.D. de Luxembourg); Waltraud Verlaguet, Fayence (France)


2009 (37)


Akadimia Platonos / Plato’s Academy, by Filippos Tsitos, Greece/Germany

Through its well-considered mise-en-scène and deliberate camera work, this film is a detailed observation of simple people in their everyday life in a neighbourhood in Athens. With a sometimes bitter-sweet, sometimes ironical tone, the film criticises naive patriotism and xenophobia, pleading instead for the dismissal of prejudices, a good understanding between cultures and the acceptance of others even if they are different.


Nothing Personal │Nothing Personal, by Urszula Antoniak, The Netherlands

The film tells a touching story of loneliness and relationship in a delicate and well-paced way, through beautiful images of unspoilt nature using music in order to express the inner feelings and the mood of the protagonists. Thus the director transmits a strong message of hope for people who have been hurt in their lives and who have to build new relationships with respect for the freedom and independence of the other person.

The jury: Christine Bolliger-Erard, Montpellier (France); Lucia Cuocci, Roma (Italy); Jos Horemans, Aartselaar (Belgium), President; Stefanie Knauss, Trento (Austria/Italy); Bojidar Manov, Sofia (Bulgaria); Fawzi Soliman, Kairo (Egypt)


2008 (36)


Mar Nero │Black Sea, by Federico Bondi. Italy/Romania/France

A tightly woven tale concerning Gemma, an ageing Italian woman who has recently lost her husband. With great reluctance she slowly accepts her Romanian migrant caretaker, Angela, into her life. We journey with Gemma as Angela helps her overcome her grief, opening her eyes towards an unknown future. Set against the economic and political issues reflecting Romania's integration into the European Union, this is an emotionally satisfying film about tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, and hope.


Yuriev Den │ Yuri’s Day, by Kirill Serebrennikov, Russia

Yuriev Den tells the story of an opera singer on her journey back to her Russian roots with her son who disappears while in the town of Yuriev. This event completely changes her life. In her desperate search for her son she becomes a 'mother' to the poor, the sick, and others who are lost. The film is filled with references to Christian iconography, Russian literature and its film tradition. Its high artistic quality and its symbolic and numerous metaphorical images make this film open and challenging.

The jury: Alexander Deeg, Erlangen (Germany); Felipe Espinoza Torres, Torreón, Coahuila (Mexico); Douglas Fahleson, Blackrock (Ireland); Serge Molla, Lausanne (Suisse), President; Astrid Polz-Watzenig, Graz (Austria); Sham P. Thomas, Bangalore (India)


2007 (35)


La maison jaune │The Yellow House, by Amor Hakkar, France/Algéria

A positive vision of how images can facilitate the healing process. The Yellow House portrays the triumph of hope over adversity. In the midst of mourning for a son killed while away, a Berber family in Algeria finds strength, renewal, love and support from both within the family and the wider community. Amor Hakkar's film is poetically crafted using sensitivity, subtlety and humour. 

The jury: Robin E. Gurney, Beds (United Kingdom; Julia Helmke, Hannover (Germany); Jes Nysten, Roskilde (Denmark); Thomas Kroll, Berlin (Germany), President; Daria Pezzoli –Olgiati, Neggio (Switzerland); Karen Merced Willner, Newport Beach CA (USA)


2006 (34)


Agua │ Agua, by Verónica Chen, Argentine/France

For its artistic quality and the universalism of its story. The rhythms of swimming and the omnipresence of water give the film a contemplative flair, in which the rebirth of two men of different generations takes place. Forsaking the pressure to conform to the contemporary world - in this case achieving victory at any cost - the film highlights the importance of self-giving in order to attain the courage to face everyday life.


Le dernier des fous – Demented, by Laurent Achard, France/Belgium

A film which denounces, in a radical vision, the absence of hope and love.

The jury: Nicolae Dascalu, Iasi (Romania); Maggie Morgan, Cairo (Egypt); Ruben Rossello, Pregassona (Switzerland); Brigitta Rotach Schmid, Zürich (Switzerland); Carlo Tagliabue, Roma (Italy), President; Magali Van Reeth, Lyon (France)


2005 (33)


La Neuvaine │The Novena, by Bernard Émond, Canada

While many explicitly religious films fall short because of too earnest proselytising or alienating aspects of piety, La Neuvaine succeeds in presenting simple faith with respect, acknowledging how difficult it is to believe in God in a secular world and in the aftermath of tragedy. When a young man making a pilgrimage of prayer for his dying grandmother encounters a doctor paralyzed by anguish, the interaction leads not to miracles or conversion but to kindness and deep possibilities for hope.


Fratricide│Fratricide, by Yilmaz Arslan, Germany

Fratricide provocatively confronts the burning European question of refugees. The setting is Germany, the people the Kurds. Yilmaz Arslan combines a complex plot about two brothers with scenes of visceral violence as well as a tender picture of caring friendship. His film is both an accusation against racism and neglect and a plea for common humanity and decency.

The jury: Peter Malone, London (Australie/United Kingdom); Randy Naylor, London (Canada/United Kingdom); Rose Pacatte, Culver City (USA); Adela Peeva, Sofia (Bulgaria); Ruben Rosello, Pregassona (Switzerland); Karsten Visarius, Frankfurt a/M (Germany), President


HONORARY ECUMENICAL AWARD to Film Director Wim Wenders

in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the art of cinema

on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of INTERFILM, celebrated at the International Film Festival in Locarno (Laudatio by Karsten Visarius)


2004 (32)


Yasmin │Yasmin, by  Kenneth Glenaan. Great Britain

After September 11th, Yasmin experiences an awakening and a reconciliation with her cultural heritage. Rediscovering the Koran begins an authentic faith journey and gives her the possibility to affirm herself truthfully. Yasmin courageously seeks a way to be herself both in her Pakistani immigrant community and in the surrounding Western society.


Private │Private, by Saverio Constanzo, Italy

Private takes us into the inner life of a Palestinian family who refuse to leave their house when Israeli soldiers occupy it. Their non-violent resistance is based upon the convictions of the father. This intimate perspective reveals the different ways of coping with daily life in a war situation and gives us a sign of hope for our world.

The jury: Florence Desmazures, Meudon (France), President; Jean-Pierre Hoby, Zürich (Switzerland); Thomas Kroll, Berlin (Germany); Lavinia Mohr, London (United Kingdom); Silvia Rapisarda, Roma (Italy); Anita Uzulniece, Riga (Latvia)


2003 (31)


Khamosh Pani │Silent Waters, by Sabiha Sumar, Pakistan/Germany/France

Finely crafted with great sensitivity, this film celebrates how religion grows human life in community (as personified by the two women Aicha and Zoubida) and also shows how religion can be used to show division and fear, messages of great importance and urgency for our contemporary world.

The  jury: Jean-Pierre Hoby, Zürich (Switzerland); Andrew Johnston, Ottawa (Canada); Augustine Loorthusamy, Selangor (Malaysia); Nathalie Roncier, Paris (France), President; Paolo Tognina, Novaggio (Switzerland); Ulrike Vollmer, Rottenburg (Germany)


2002 (30)


La cage │The Cage, by Alain Raoust, France

For its coherent cinematic construction, but also because it underlines a painful but necessary process which hopes to achieve reconciliation as a crucial step towards a true, new life.


Diskoli apocheretismi: o babas mou │Hard Goodbyes │Adieux difficiles: Mon père

by Penny Panayotopoulou, Greece

Because it confronts us with the reality of death as experienced by a young boy who, step by step and thanks to his inner vision, learns to accept what seemed unacceptable.

The jury: Dalmazio Ambrosiani, Porza (Switzerland); Viviane Borderie, Cannes (France); Peter Ciaccio, Rom (Italy); Linde Fröhlich, Lübeck (Germany); Julienne N. Munyaneza, London (United Kingdom/Rwanda; Carlo Tagliabue, Roma (Italy), President


2001 (29)


L'Afrance - As a Man, by Alain  Gomis, France

This film takes us amidst the Senegalese community in Paris. L'Afrance tacles issues of migration and identity, and brings together themes that run as a red line throughout most other films in competition: crisis in the family and inter-personal relations. Without being didactic the film explores possible avenues for overcoming the painful disengagement and opens up perspectives of hope. The Jury appreciates the originality of the cinematic language and the film's strong cross-cultural appeal.


Promises │Promises, by Justine Shapiro/B.Z.Goldberg, USA/Palestine/Israel

This unusual documentary is the result of a four- year project, and shows Israelian and Palestinian children of different origins speaking about their fears and prejudices. Promises suggests that meetings such as these represent a way to peace.

The jury: Corinne Eugéne dit Rochesson, Drap (France), President; Dina Iordanova, Leicester (United Kingdom); Marina Sanna, Ciamino (Italy); Paolo Tognina, Novaggio (Switzerland); Joachim Valentin, Frankfurt a/M (Germany); Ninfa Watt, Salamanca (Spain)


2000 (28)


Baba│Father │Papa, by Whang Shuo, China

For its universal dimensions using the father-son relationship as a metaphor for that of the individual faced with political and social authorities.  The quest for individual rights and liberty hurts a father, who is an image of institutions claiming to know what is good for each of us.  Access to full individual adulthood comes through the sacrifice of the father in substituting himself as a victim.  The jury especially appreciated the use of music and humour.

The jury: Dalmazio Ambrosiani, Porza (Switzerland); Ivan Corbisier, Bruxelles (Belgium); Christopher Deacy, Lampeter (United Kingdom); Peter Hasenberg, Bonn (Germany), President; Ylva Liljeholm, Örebro (Sweden); Waltraud Verlaguet, Fayence (France)


1999 (27)


La vie ne me fait pas peur, by Noémie Lvovsky, France

This film sensitively portrays the search for an authentic place in the world. We see four teenage girls whose experiences fluctuate between joy and pain, belonging and isolation, but who exuberantly celebrate friendship and life. The director communicates her personal vision of the need for understanding and love in the difficult time of growing up.


Barak│The Baracks│Le Baraquement, by Valerij Ogorodnikov, Russia

Combining all means of artistic expression in a symphonic unity, the director makes the audience witness how the communal values of human life transcend all its frustrations and hardships. In showing how the alienation gives way to mutual understanding, the authentic picture of a certain period in recent history becomes an all-embracing symbol of love overcoming the unbearable circumstances.

The jury: Alexandre Dorochevisch, Moscou (Russia); Franca di Lecce, Roma (Italy); Matthias Loretan, Zürich (Switzerland); Gaye W. Ortiz, Ripon (United Kingdom); Arnis Redoviçs, Riga (Latvia); Rita Weinert, Hamburg (Germany), President.


1998 (26)


Titanic Town, by Roger Michell, Great Britain/Irland

Shows, through humour and sadness the conditions of those caught up in the complexities of opposing politics in North Ireland.  Seeing concrete situations with an aesthetic that skill fully matches the content, the audience comes to realise how hope is kept alive, often at great cost.


Ikinai, by Hiroshi Shimizu, Japan

A modern tragi-comedy about the meaning of life in the face of death, this film convinces by the strength of the content and the effective use of irony.

Beshkempir │The adoptive son, by Aktan Abdykalykov, Kirghizie/France

With impressive poetic imagery this first Kirghiz feature film succeed in making the external simple narrative of the maturation of a young boy transparent for deeper dimensions of existence.  Through his artistic power and humanity, he transcends borders and helps us discover our neighbour in the stranger.

The jury: Florence Desmazures, Mendon (France), President; Stephen J. Brown, Leeds (United Kingdom); Brigitta Rotach, Zürich (Switzerland); Marina Sanna, Ciamino (Italy); Anita Uzulniece, Riga (Latvia); Reinhold Zwick, Münster (Germany)


1997 (25)


Gadjo Dilo │The Crazy Stranger │L’étranger fou, by Tony Gatlif, France

In a new brilliant style the film dramatises the powerful experience of a foreigner’s reception into a new society. It demonstrates the importance of tolerance and understanding between different cultures in opposition to discrimination and violence.


Fools, by Ramadan Suleman, France/South Africa/Mozambique/Zimbabwe

This film shows us how pardon is essential to peace. Coming to terms with its own history is a necessity for a people’s future. The path to freedom and the building up of the community needs a full awareness of one’s situation.

The jury: Konstantin Lopushanski, St. Petersbourg (Russia); Denyse Muller, Arles (France); Françoise Pétremand, Le Pâquier (Switzerland); Werner Schneider-Quindeau, Frankfurt a/M (Germany), President; Carlo Tagliabue, Rome (Italy); Carlos A. Valle, London (United Kingdom/Argentine)



to Raimondo Rezzonico, President of the International Film Festival Locarno

for his sympathy and strong support of the ecumenical presence

on the occasion of the 50th International Film Festival Locarno

offered at the ecumenical reception on Monte Verità (Laudatio by Hans Hodel)

1996 (24)


Miel et cendres │ Honey and Ashes, by Nadia Fares, Switzerland/Tunisia

The authentic narratives on Leila, Amina and Naima show how violence can damage human relations. This courageous film asks questions concerning oppression in relation between men and women, oppression provoked by a cultural, political or religious contemporary context.


Nenette et Boni, by Claire Denis, France

This film describes in a remarkable manner the reality, dreams and fantasies of a brother and sister. They are trying to overcome their isolation, their inability to communicate and their lack of love.

The jury: Jos Horemans, Aartselaars (Belgium); Jolyon Mitchell, Edinburgh (United Kingdom); Ioann Sviridov, Moscou (Russia); Hella Tompert, Bonn (Germany); Gianna Urizio, Roma (Italy); Franz Ulrich, Zürich (Switzerland),  President


1995 (23)


Sept en attente, by Françoise Etchegary, France

In a production at once intimate and symbolic, Françoise Etchegary portrays young adults who meet and pass each other in a squat. The truth and depth of the problems of their lives and relationships expressed through their conversations, reflect both contemporary social malaise as well as and a search for communication and love.


Panther, by Mario Van Peebles, USA

Today it is urgent to fight all forms of racism by the force of dialogue if we are to have greater justice, tolerance and democracy.

The jury: Latavra Doularidze, Moscow (Russia); Jean-Claude Robert, Antélias (Lebanon); Neda Stanimirova, Sofia (Bulgaria); Maurice Terrail, St-Sulpice (Switzerland), President; Dario Vigano, Milano (Italy); Rita Weinert, Hamburg (Germany)


1994 (22)


Ermo, by Xiaowen Zhou, China

Through the story of a Chinese peasant woman, the film shows in a complex, concrete and convincing way, the conflict arising between traditional cultural values and the new life style imposed by the consumer society, which is far from considering the human person as an ultimate goal.


Rosine, by Christine Carrière, France

In this first film, through the loving relationship of an adolescent daughter and her mother, the film-maker emphasizes the importance of affection in an hostile and violent environment.

Come due coccodrilli, by Giacomo Campiotti, Italy

Inspired by the biblical story of Joseph, this film shows, in a poetical style, the quest for true human communication that gives meaning to all existential experiences.

The jury: Christel Drawer, Saarbrücken (Germany); Guennadi Guéroév, Moscow (Russia); Charles Martig, Zürich (Switzerland), President; Daniela Roventa-Frumusani, Bucharest (Romania); Carlo Tagliabue, Rome (Italy)


1993 (21)


Bhaji on the Beach, by Gurinder Chandha, United Kingdom

The movie, with rich and colourful humour, asks for mutual respect and tolerance, as well as for self-criticism, through the exposure of racism, sexism, and the oppressive traits of tradition. Avoiding any simplistic solution, the film offers new, optimistic perspectives.


L’Ecrivain public, by Jean-François Amiguet, Switzerland

The director, whose style is highly personal and notable for a sense of harmony and tenderness, reasserts the value of dialogue for a couple who refuses to surrender to failure.

Les Gens normaux n'ont rien d'exceptionnel, by Laurence Ferreira Barbosa, France

For the dynamism and daring that the heroine displays in order to bring together people who are not considered normal by others.

The jury: Dominique de Rivaz, Fribourg (Switzerland); Jean Domon, Paris (France); Bernd Hohmann, Braunschweig (Germany); Philip Lee, London (United Kingdom), President; Jean-Claude Robert, Antélias (Lebanon)


1992 (20)


Sishi Buhuo │Family Portrait, by Li Shaohong, China

In the social context of contemporary China, family problems are tackled with humour and tenderness, thanks to solid construction of the characters and excellent direction.


KinderspieleJeux d’enfants, by Wolfgang Becker, Germany

For the coherence of the narrative, the emotional force and the symbolic elements which highlight the complex aspects of violent world where children above all fall victim.

Zebrahead, by Anthony Drazan, USA

This film about racial prejudice amongst the youth of the United States calls for understanding between men, cultures and religions.

The jury: Ambros Eichenberger, Zürich (Switzerland), President; José Tavvares de Barros (Brasilien); Virgilio Fantuzzi (Italy); Claude Roshem, Nimes (France); Richard Stang, Frankfurt a/M (Germany); Vsevolod Tschaplin, Moscou (Russia)


1991 (19)


Oblako-Rai │Nuage-Paradis │Wolkenparadies, by Nikolai Dostal, UdSSR

Sharing in a monotonous daily situation, this poetical and lyrical film shows through the fantasizing of a naive hero the slow discovery of shared space.


Anna Göldin - letzte Hexe │Anna Göldin –dernière sorcière, by Gertrud Pinkus, Germany/Switzerland

For its accurate reconstitution and the force of it’s rereading of a historic fact.  The woman on the threshold of the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution is the victim of prejudice - prejudice which is always present when society looks for scapegoats.

Ostkreuz, by Michael Klier, Germany

With a lucid and unindulgent regard, this film starts from the situation created by the fall of the Wall and the reunification of Berlin. A cold and sombre atmosphere in which rejected childhood keeps up its courage.

The jury: Giovanni Desio, Saronno (Italy); Marli Feldvoss, Frankfurt a/M (Germany); Joseph Marty, Perpignan (France); Corinne Eugéne dit Rochesson, Drap (France); François Schlemmer, Genthod (Switzerland), President; Franz Ulrich, Zürich (Switzerland); Neja Zorkaja, Moscow (Russia)


1990 (18)


Hush-a-bye Baby, by Margo Harkin, Northern Ireland

The film tackles honestly and tenderly the problem of an adolescent aged 15 becoming a mother. More profoundly the film shows the need for a real dialogue and a new approach to human and religious values.


Badis, by Mohammed Abderrahman Tazi, Morocco

This film deals with the situation of women in a Moslem country. Western influence, the contribution of the media, formation through the unconscious intervention of the teacher favour the awakening realization of two women who will decide to flee their village and their alienating situation: they will be caught and one of them stoned.

The jury: Michael Kuhn (The Netherlands), President; Joel Magny (France); Martin Rabius (Germany); Claude Roshem (France); Dominik Slappnig (Switzerland); Carlo Tagliabue (Italy)


1989 (17)


Dharmaga Tonjogura kan kkadalgun? │ Why Bodhi Dharma went to the Orient? │Pourqoui Bodhi-Dharma est-il parti vers l’Orient?, by Yong-kuyn Bae, South Korea

To the richest film in competition for its form and content. In its stupefying images it shows, in spite of religious and cultural differences, spiritual values which form a counterpoint to the materialsm and destruction of the environment, values which are essential for the survival of creation.


Khaneh-je doost kojast? │Where is the House of my Friend? │Où est la maison de l’ami?, by Abbas Kiarostami, Iran

This poetic film relates simply and without pretention a child's first steps towards cutting loose from the oppressing authority of adults and the apprenticeship of solidarity.

Piravi │The Birth│La naissance, by Shaji N. Karun, India

With compact and impressive images the film retraces the story of a father searching desperately for his son; this quest fails because of a State which conceals the truth.

The jury: Klaus Dermutz, Berlin (Germany); Claude François, Luxembourg (G.D.Luxembourg); Giuliana Gandolfo, Turin (Italy), President; Gaby Hartmann, Saarbrücken (BRD/Germany); Christoph Lanz, Basel (Switzerland); Ernesto G.Laura, Roma (Italy); Franz Ulrich, Zürich (Switzerland)


1988 (16)


Family Viewing, by Atom Egoyan, Canada

With lucidity and convincing language this work reflects the influence of the audiovisual means in our society and the limits of these means of communication. By the rediscovery of love in human and family relationships this film opens up perspectives of hope.


Gost │The Guest │ l’Hôte │Der Besucher, by Alexandr Kaidanowski, UdSSR

Although the lyrical language of this film may seem obscure, this fascinating religious quest, freely adapted from a passage in the Bible, has a relevance which cannot leave one indifferent.

Halodhia choraye baodhan khai │The Catastrophe │Die Katastrophe, by Jahnu Barua, India

A film which convinces by its sensitivity and its sense of observation. The painful fight of this peasant in search for justice and his own dignity commits him to an irreversible process.

The jury: Georges Blanc, Denges (Switzerland); Paolo Castelli, Turin (Italy); Hans-Werner Dannowski, Hannover (BRD/Germany); Michael Kuhn (The Netherlands); Mathew Kuzhippallil, Zürich (Switzerland/India), President; Claude Roshem, Nimes (France)        


1987 (15)


With Love to the Person Next to Me, by Brian Mc Kenzie, Australia

Appreciated for its look at drop-outs and the affection with which the director presents their often hopeless world. This film also questions us on the responsibility of the individual towards his own set in a society marked more and more by egoism.

The jury: Marli Feldvoss, Frankfurt a/M (BRD/Germany); Giuliana Gandolfo, Turin (Italy); Urs A. Jaeggi, Bern (Switzerland), President; Martial Knaebel, Lyon (France); Jean-Claude Robert, Antélias (Lebanon); Yvan Stern, Fribourg (Switzerland)


1986 (14)


The Lamb, by Colin Gregg, United Kingdom

Magnificently directed and interpreted.   A sense of faith, the importance of love in communication between human beings, such are the questions posed by this film whose ending has great force, and in which the viewer can invest his own thoughts and beliefs.


40 m2 Deutschland │ 40 m2 of Germany, by Tevfik Baser, Turkey

For its intense testimony, pleading for the dignity of an immigrant woman imprisoned by contrasting cultures.

Debshishu, by Utpalendu Chakraborty, India

Deep-rooted in the cultural traditions of India, the film denounces exploitation of the hopes and wishes, of impoverished people, for a better life.

The jury: Urs A. Jaeggi, Bern (Switzerland), President; Elaine Beery (USA); Jean-Claude Robert, Beirut (Lebanon); Franz Ulrich, Zürich (Switzerland); Maurice Untereiner (France); Annette Woschee (BRD/Germany)


1985 (13)


Höhenfeuer, by Fredi M. Murer, Switzerland

This film approaches a marginal group with nicety and reserve, showing with rigour the deadly isolation and mental aberrations which out-moded traditions lead to when they are accepted without thought.


Huang Tudi │ Yellow Earth │Gelbe Erde │Terre jaune, by Chen Kaige, China

This film received a mention because it depicted, in eloquent pictures, the search for her personal development of a young woman who was a prisoner of the traditions of rural society.

Dongdong de Jiaqui │ Summer at Grandpa's │ Un été chez grand-père, by Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan

This film received a Commendation because according to the Ecumenical Jury, it posed basic questions on the mysteries of daily life through the eyes of a child.

The jury: Victor Bachy (Belgium); Daniel Büsser (Switzerland); Paolo Castelli (Italy); Kathrin Hess, Locarno (Switzerland); Beatrice Möri, Studen b/Biel (Switzerland); Dorothea Nowruzkhani (BRD/Germany)


1984 (12)


The Terence Davies Trilogy, by Terence Davies, United Kingdom

This film describes in a life of suffering the forces of oppression present in a restrictive education, an alienating religion and distorted family relations. In spite of this acknowledgment, this film shows the liberating power offered by love and hope.

Tiznao, by Dominique Cassuto de Bonet and Salvador Bonet, Venezuela

Tiznao et le portrait sensible d’une communauté qui va être détruite au nom d’un certain progrès. Nous avons remarqué l’originalité du regard des deux réalisateurs sur ce petit village vénézuélien et voulons souligner l’importance des questions – universelles – qu’ils nous posent


Stranger than Paradise, by Jim Jarmusch, USA

The whole of this production, by the quality of its images, gives us a delicately framed picture of the evolution of human relations and of a friendship woven among exiles lost in the American immensity.

The jury: Martial Knaebel, Lyon (France); Mathew Kuzhipallil. Zürich (Switzerland(India); Yvan Stern, Fribourg (Switzerland); Giuliana Gandolfo, Turin (Italy); Claude Roshem, Nimes (France); Michel Christin (Switzerland)  


1983 (11)


Planeta Krawiec │ Tailor's Planet │The Planet Shaper, by Jerzy Domaradzki, Poland

The film tells with humour and a touch of satire the story of a self-taught astronomer whose researches are to receive national recognition - in spite of his family’s lack of understanding.


Ferestedah, by Parviz Sayyad, Iran/Germany

Sur le plan de la politique actuelle, le film montre le chemin d’un home qui surpasse les prejudices et la haine et qui à la fin prend ses propres responsabilités.

The jury: Corry Belinfante, Hilversum (The Netherlands); Annemarie Berthoud, Bern (Switzerland); Giuliana Gandolfo, Turin (Italy); Karl Kleiner (BRD/Germany); Christian Murer, Urdorf (Switzerland); Amadou Soumana (Nigeria)


1982 (10)


Parti sans laisser d'adresse, by Jacqueline Veuve, Switzerland

This film is the passion of a young man who lives through a terrible calvary in prison. It is the denunciation of an environment and a prison system which partly destroyed this man. It is also a meticulous and realistic inquiry into the last months in the life of a drug addict. At the same time it is a respectful, open and sometimes tender look at a closed situation, at characters who are never stereotyped.


La Boda│The Wedding│Le Mariage, by Thaelman Urgelles, Venezuela

The author has used a wedding ceremony where different social classes mingled to depict the complexity of the relationships which form the tissue of a society marked by violence and injustice. He suggests the possibility of a change in social structures with a view to improving human relations.

The jury: Raymond Bassin (Switzerland); Giuliana Gandolfo (Italy); Uschi Hoffmann-Volz (BRD/Germany); Jean-Claude Robert, Beirut (Lebanon); Bruno Rosio (Italy) Yvan Stern (Switzerland), President


1981 (09)


Chakra │The Vicious Circle, by Rabindra Dharmaraj, India

This film offers a perceptive and human picture of an Indian shantytown. Without using militant language, the author allows the audience to discover the solidarity and moral conscience which exist in these underprivileged surroundings.


Duetto, by Tomaso Sherman, Italy

This film presents, in an elegant and amusing form, a possibility for women to fulfil themselves by developing their expressive and artistic abilities.

Aulad el Rih │ Children of the Wind │Les Enfants du Vent, by Brahim Tsaki, Algeria

With no supporting dialogue this film stresses in three different Algerian contexts the creativity of children when faced with their future and the adult world. Through this work the Ecumenical Jury also wishes to salute the high standard of the Algerian productions presented at Locarno.

The jury: Anne-Marie Berthoud, Bern (Switzerland); Maria Teresa Gavazzi, Milano (Italy); Dorothea Moritz-Holloway, Berlin (BRD/Germany); Philippe Reynaert (Belgium); Marco Stufaldi (Switzerland); Richard Verheul, Nimwegen (The Netherlands), President


1980 (08)


Opname │ In for Treatment, by Erik Van Zuylen and Marja Kok, Netherlands

The jury appreciated the quality of the relationships in the film, expressed through the finely shaded acting and the way in which the actors were able to handle their parts, thus conveying the psychological and spiritual evolution of the characters. Through tackling the difficult theme of illness and death, the film shows courage, warmth and hope.


Clarence and Angel, by Robert Gardner, USA

A special mention was awarded to Clarence and Angel   by Robert Gardner (USA). This film caught the Ecumenical Jury's attention because it deals with a serious modern and significant problem: the social and racial segregation.

Szansa │ Chance │La Chance, by Feliks Falk, Poland

This film caught the Ecumenical Jury's attention because it deals with a serious modern and significant problem:  the respect for liberty of choice.

Die Letzten Jahre der Kindheit│The Last Years of Childhood, by Norbert Kükelmann, Germany

This film caught the Ecumenical Jury's attention because it deals with a serious modern and significant problem:  second-class citizenship.

The jury: Joanny Nana, Ougadougou (Upper Volta); François Schlemmer, Genève (Switzerland); Maria Teresa Gavazzi, Milano (Italy),  President; Sergio Battaglioni, Lugano (Switzerland); Corry Belinfante, Hilversum (The Netherlands) ; Dorothea Hollstein-Schmidt, Karlsruhe (BRD/Germany)

1979 (07)


Les Petites fuguesKleine Fluchten, by Yves Yersin, Switzerland

This film illustrates with realism and fancy the new life of a bachelor farmer who, at the time of his retirement, is discovering with wonder and freshness how marvelous and creative may be his life. This idea is expressed both by the rythm of the film and the technique that carry along the audience into the enlarged surrouding of the hero: Pipe.

COMMENDATIONS (without motivation)

Schilten, by Beat Kuert, Switzerland

Wise Blood │ La sagesse dans le sang, by John Huston, USA

The jury: Anne-Marie Berthoud, Bern (Switzerland); Eckart Bruchner, München (BRD/Germany); Richard Verheul, Nimwegen (The Netherlands); Gian Carlo Castelli (Italy); Robert Molhant, Bruxelles (Belgium); Josef Stutzer, Zürich (Switzerland)


1978 (06)



Baara│Work, by Souleymane Cisse, Mali

A description of the hard living of a poor porter and of a young African director. The death of the latter, caused by his opposition to power and by his concern for the poor, is the dawn of new hope for his factory workers.

Bako, l'autre rive, by Jacques Champreux, Senegal/France

The film studies the problem of clandestine immigration of Africans, particularly in France.

Cseplo Gyuri, by Pal Schiffer, Hungary

This film deals with the serious problem of the social exclusion of Gypsies

The jury: Maria Teresia Gavazzi, Milano (Italy), President; Eckart Bruchner, München (BRD/Germany); Joanny Nana, Ougadogou (Ober-Volta); Yvan Stern, Fribourg (Switzerland); Richard Verheul, Nimwegen (The Netherlands); Guy Perrot, Versoix (Switzerland)


1977 (05)


The Guest (An Episode in the Life of Eugene Marais),

by Ross Devenish and Athol Fugard, South Africa

Through the suffering of the Afrikaans poet and naturalist Eugene Nielen Marais, depicted in a rich and complex style, this film helps the viewers to discover new aspects of human existence in a particular context.


Muerte al amanecer│Death at Dawn, by Francisco José Lombardi, Peru/Venezuela

The morbid rites surrounding the execution of a man condemned to death and perhaps innocent are sure to provoke the viewers to reflect on the death penalty and on a law influenced by social classes.

Les Indiens sont encore loin│The Indians Are Still Far Away,

by Patricia Moraz, Switzerland/France

The solitude felt by a deeply sensitive woman reveals a contemporary trend of our society. This profoundly human film, although treated in a cold manner, is an invitation to a sharing of opinions.

The jury: Gian Carlo Castelli, Bosto (Italy); Per Haddal, Oslo (Norway); Dorothea Moritz-Holloway, Berlin (BRD/Germany); Guy Perrot. Versoix (Switzerland), President; Yvan Stern, Fribourg (Switzerland)


1976 (04)


Mirt sost shi amit│Harvest: 3000 Years │Die Ernte: Drei Jahrtausend│La récolte: trois millénaires, by Haïle Gerima, Ethiopia

This film denounces the oppression of poor nations by rich countries and witnesses the difficulties inherent to an authentic liberation. Deeply rooted in the life and in the culture of his country, the director Hailé Gerima, has been able to translate in an exemplary narrative style, the distresses and hopes of these men who have known unchanging life conditions since three millennium. Its call has a prophetic accent.


Reifezeit│Maturity│Maturité, by Sorab Sahid-Saless, West Germany

Shahid-Saless shares, with a sharp style and convincing way, the loneliness and progressive alienation of a boy who has lost his father.

Soufara (As)│The Ambassadors│ Les Ambassadeurs, by Naceur Ktari, Tunisia/Libia/France

The director induces a participation to some vital problems concerning immigrants. Through a succession of events, at times tragic, depicted with efficient means, he insists on the importance of heartily immigrants welcoming through interpersonal comprehension. He especially stresses the necessity of transforming socio-economic structures.

Jesus von Ottakring (Die Neider sind noch nicht gezählt), by Wilhelm Pellert, Austria

This first film, built around the Passion of Christ, opposes the courage of a non-conformist and pacifist citizen with the hypocrite, suspicious and aggressive attitudes of a society that prides itself to be well-disposed.

The jury: Wieslaw Gwidzd (Poland); Per Haddal, Oslo (Norway); Dorothea Moritz-Holloway, Berlin (BRD/Germany); Theo Krummenacher, Biel (Switzerland); Jean-Claude Robert, Beirut (Lebanon), President; Yvan Stern, Fribourg (Switzerland)


1975 (03)


Nuova│Noua, by Abdelaziz Tolbi, Algeria

This sincere and strongly engaged film illustrates the fundamental problems of social, political and cultural order of a people fighting for its freedom.


Hustruer│Wives, by Anja Breien, Norway

Remarkable because of its genuine spontaneity, this film invites to reflection on the problems of the women in a consumer society.

O Thiassos│ The Travelling Players, Theo Angelopoulos, Greece

This Greek film, crowned at the Berlin Festival 1975 with the Otto Dibelius Prize, obtained a new recommendation by reason of its political engagement.

The jury: Per Haddal, Oslo (Norway); Richard Verheul, Nimwegen (The Netherlands); Guy Perrot, Versoix (Switzerland), President; Carlo Tagliabue, Roma (Italy); Wolfgang Suttner, Regensburg (BRD/Germany); Gerald Berger (Switzerland)


1974 (02)


Tüzolto utca 25│25 Sapper Street│25 Fireman's Street│25, rue des Sapeurs,

by Istvan Szabo, Hungary

The flux of life which flows through the film (during a stifling summer night) depicts the story of a nation, rejecting unsatisfactions and fears, arousing hope, demolishing an old world to make place for a renewed spirit. By breaking away from the individual dreams of the past, the film opens on to a universal dimension.

27 Down Bombay-Varanasi Express│The Benares Train│Le Train de Benares

by Awtar Krishna Kaul, India

Referring to the continuous journeys of a young train guard in India, this film, with efficient technical mastery, develops a reflection on the meaning of life on young people seeking their autonomy in relation to family and social customs in their country.


Auandar anapu, el que cayó del cielo│The One Who Came from Heaven│L’Homme qui est tombé du ciel, by Rafael Corkidi, Mexico

Respecting the authentic variety of traditional beliefs of Mexico, the film in the form of a popular legend combines radical, political and social views with a prophetic vision. The director courageously tries to overcome the prejudices that separate the reality of everyday life from the reality of the Gospel.

Kimen│The Seed│La Graine, by Erik Solbakken, Norway

The film depicts in a honest way the situation of an insular group of people that has let itself be pushed into excessive violence, resulting of a sudden disappearance of sensibility and human values. It shows realistically, with allegoric overtones, the importance of social responsibility and respect for the rights of the individual. In spite of a certain weakness in structure, this is a promising first work.

Maa on syntinen laulu│The Land of Our Ancesters│O terre, chanson pecheresse

by Rauni Mollberg, Finland

The film describes the culture and way of life of a specific people. As well as painting the harsh life led by this people, "O Earth, Sinning Song" demonstrates the importance of life, love and death.

Preboiavane na divite zaitsi│Taking the Census of Wild Rabbits│The Hare Census│Le Recensement des lapins de Garenne, by Edouard Zakhariev, Bulgaria

The film criticises a bureaucrat who is no longer at the service of the people. The bureaucrat is not harshly dealt with and in the end he brings together the different mentalities.


Le Milieu du monde│The Middle of the World│Die Mitte der Welt

by Alain Tanner, Switzerland/France

and to the complete work of the Swiss director. Its film “The Middle of the World” confirms with great talent the development of the director in his criticism of modern Western society.

The jury: Gian Carlo Castelli, Bosto (Italy), President; Gérald Berger (Switzerland); Jean-Claude Robert, Beirut (Lebanon); Per Haddal, Oslo (Norway); Jan Hes, Hilversum (The Netherlands); Urs A. Jaeggi, Bern (Switzerland)


1973 (01)


Iluminacje│Illumination, by Krzysztof Zanussi, Poland

The film in lucid and convincing way expresses the struggle of a young generation, testing different sciences for fundamental truth with relevance for personal life.


Le Cousin Jules, by Dominique Benicheti, France

for the understanding and congenial way direction and camera have registered the rythm of labour and the qualities of life of old people in a rural environment.


Maya Darpan, by Kumar Shahani, India

Utazas Jakkabbal / Journey with Jacob, by Pál Gabor, Hungary

The jury: Gian Carlo Castelli, Bosto (Italy); Ambros Eichenberger, Zürich (Switzerland); Per Haddal, Oslo (Norway); Jan Hes, Hilversum (The Netherlands); Dölf Rindlisbacher, Bern (Switzerland), President; Jean-Claude Robert, Beirut (Lebanon)


The representatives of the Swiss Churches, who agreed with festival director Moritz de Hadeln to establish the first Ecumenical Jury (from left to right):

Yvan Stern (Fribourg), communication officer of the bishop of Fribourg-Lausanne, P. Ambros Eichenberger (Zürich), film commissioner of the Catholic media service in Zürich, Pasteur Maurice Terrail (Lausanne), director of the Protestant film office, Rev. Dölf Rindlisbacher (Berne), film commissioner of the Protestant media service:





Aarhoi / Der Aufstieg, von Tapon Sinha, Indien

Der Film zeigt eine klare Tendenz in Richtung auf die Besserung der menschlichen Beziehungen und eine bessere Verständigung zwischen den Menschen. Auf der Grundlage eines unerschütterlichen Optimismus enthält er eine positive Botschaft des Orients über Leben und Menschen, der sich der Westen nicht verschliessen sollte.

Die Jury: Dr. H. Gerber, Filmbeauftragter der EKD; Ev. Grolle, Delegierter des ökumenischen Filmzentrums Holland; Dr. F.Hochstrasser, Luzern, Redaktor Film und Radio, Präsident