74th Locarno Film Festival

04.08.2021 to 14.08.2021

Locarno: Piazza Grande (© Regula Renschler)

The Swiss film "Soul of a Beast" by Lorenz Merz won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at Locarno 2021. The Golden Leopard went to the Philippine competition entry "Seperti dendam, rindu harus dibayar" (Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash) by Edwin, the Special Prize of the International Jury chaired by American director Elisa Hittman to "Jia mia tang hui" (A New Old Play) by Qiu Jiongjiong, a co-production of Hong Kong and France. The International Film Critics' (Fipresci) Prize was awarded to "Paradis sale" (After Blue) by Bertrand Mandico from France.

After an online edition in 2020 entitled "For the Future of Films" the 74th Locarno Film Festival celebrated its opening at August 4, 2021, onsite on the Piazza Grande. For Artistic Director Giona A. Nazzaro it is the first festival edition. As opening film on the Piazza Nazzaro had chosen the political thriller "Beckett" by Italian director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino. The retrospective was dedicated to Alberto Lattuada (1882-1962).

The Concorso internazionale had 17 entries which competed for the Pardo d'oro and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, with films from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Russia, and a number of European countries. In total, the festival screened 209 films.

Link: Festival website



Directed by:

With homages to many cinematic styles and auteurs, Lorenz Merz's Soul of a Beast is a courageous film full of soul, realized through bodies and minds. Taking viewers on a feverish hero's journey through a neighborhood in Zurich, we see the world through the piercing blue eyes of the young man, Gabriel. Caught between the call of the wild, and the will to domestic life, Gabriel leads viewers to see how a person is created in relation to others. Freedom is not "freedom from" but "freedom to."

More about the festival

S. Brent Rodriguez Plate, President of the Ecumenicval Jury in Locarno 2021, reflects on the festival experience and comments on films which were discussed in the jury extensively.