70th Festival Locarno

02.08.2017 to 12.08.2017
Ecumenical Jury Locarno 2017

The members of the Ecumenical Jury (© Festival Locarno)

At the 70th Festival Locarno the awards have been decided. The Ecumenical Jury awarded its Prize to the American competition entry "Lucky" by John Carroll Lynch with Harry Dean Stanton in the eponymous role. In addition, the jury awraded two Commendations. The international festival jury headed by French director Olivier Assayas awarded the Golden Leopard to the Chinese film "Mrs. Fang", directed by Wang Bing. The Special Jury Prize was awarded to "As boas maniera" (Good Manners) from Brazil, directed by Juliane Rojas. F. J. Ossang from France won the award for Best Direction for his "9 doigts" (9 Fingers). The Prize of the international film critics (Fipresci) went to "Qing Ting zhi yan" (Dragonfly Eyes), directed by Xu Bing  The film also won a Commendation by the Ecumenical Jury. 

At its 70th anniversary, the Festival del film Locarno has been renamed. Briefly, it is the Locarno Festival from now on. 18 entries in the international competition rivaled for the Golden Leopard and other awards, the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury among them. The festival introduced innovations like two new theatres, "Locarno Talks", a space for conversations about cinema, and a section for young audineces, "Locarno Kids". The retrospective was devoted to Jacques Tourneur, one of the famous protagonists of film noir. The Pardo d'onore (Leopard of Honour) has been awarded to Jean-Marie Straub, a great individualist and modernist of cinema. The festival screened twelve of his films, among others one of his early shorts, "Der Bräutigam, die Komödiantin und der Zuhälter (The Bridegroom, the Actress and the Pimp, 1968), "Dalla nube alla resistanza" (From the Clouds to the Resistance, 1979), or "Klassenverhältnisse" (Class Relations, 1984), an adaptation of Kafka's unfinished novel Amerika. The opening film screened on the Piazza Grande on August 2nd was Noémy Lvovsky's "Demain et tout les autres jours" (Today and all the other days).

Link: Festival website



Directed by:

An hommage to Harry Dean Stanton, one of our greatest character actors, «Lucky» winsomely explores the meaning of life, given the immanence of death. Directed by an accomplished actor and starring David Lynch in a memorable supporting role, the movie is set in a small desert town. Played by the 91-year-old Stanton, Lucky, though angry, fearful and alone, comes to accept the love of others and finally to find in his life an underlying spirituality. 

Winter Brothers
Directed by:

«Vinterbrødre» takes us along into the darkness of a limestone mine where only little light shines through. Two unequal and traumatized brothers fight for a bit of love in a world consisting of hard labor, illegal alcohol transactions and social frostiness. The film shows, through its strong images and an impressive sound design, how primitive life can become, and how strong the desire for humanity.

Dragonfly Eyes
Directed by:

Xu Bing, by using only the images of surveillance cameras, invents a story of a couple who become enslaved by 21st-century communication devices. In his experimental filming XU Bing shows us the fact that technology abolishes all distance without bringing any proximity.

More about the festival

Robert K. Johnston, member of the Ecumenical Jury, reports on the Locarno Festival 2017, and reflects on religious elements of awarded films.