76th Locarno Film Festival

02.08.2023 to 12.08.2023


The Ecumenical Jury in Locarno has awarded its CHF 10,000 prize to the Italian production "Patagonia" by Simone Bozzelli. The jury also awarded a Commendation to "Don't Expect Too Much From the End of the World" by Radu Jude, which also received the special prize of the international festival jury. The Golden Leopard, the festival's main prize, went to "Critical Zone" by Ali Ahmadzadeh, an underground production from Iran. The prize was accepted by producer Sina Ataeian Dena, who called for resistance against authoritarian regimes all over the world. The festival jury awarded the prize for best director to Maryna Vroda from Ukraine for her film "Stepne", which also won the Fipresci Prize of International Film Critics.

Link: Award ceremony of the international festival jury

Link: Award ceremony of the independent juries

Fifty years ago, in 1973, in Locarno an ecumenical jury was established for the first time. INTERFILM and SIGNIS celebrated this anniversary during the Festival with an ecumenical reception at which the director István Szabó was awarded the Honorary Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. His film "Tüzolto utca 25." (Firemen's Alley 25) was awarded the Ecumenical Jury Prize in Locarno in 1974. This year, the festival showed Szabó's latest film "Zárójelentés" (Final Report) as a European premiere.  The director took also part in a public panel on 10 August, where he discussed the topic "Film, Culture and Spirituality - 50 Years of the Ecumenical Jury in Locarno" with this year's jury members Marie-Therese Mäder and Joachim Valentin. The panel was moderated by Ingrid Glatz, Vice-President of INTERFILM and expert on Hungarian film.

The festival opened on 2 August on the large open-air stage of the Piazza Grande with the French production "Dammi" by Yann Mounir Demange. Leading actor Riz Ahmed was presented with the Excellence Award. In addition to the Piazza Grande programme and the International Competition, the festival also showed films in the sections Concorso cineasti di presente, Pardi di domani, Open Doors, Fuori concorso and a series of films for children. The retrospective curated by film critic Olaf Möller is dedicated to Mexican cinema. The Histoire(s) de cinéma series honours film artists who were awarded special prizes by the festival this year, among them Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang, who was awarded the Pardo alla carriera.

Link: Festival homepage

Awards of the Ecumenical Jury

Directed by:

Where is the line between dependence and freedom? Between love and submission? Between empathy and responsibility? When innocent Yuri leaves his sheltered life to follow the alluring energy of Agostino onto the open road, both must confront the open wounds and scarred histories that have made them who they are and attempt a dangerous journey toward a new horizon. «Patagonia» hovers precariously between violence and tenderness, obsessiveness and self-discovery, inviting viewers into a space of ambiguity, a place where transgression just might lead to transformation. (Photo: © Claidia Sicuranza)

Don't Expect Too Much From the End of the World
Directed by:

The film centers on Angela, a casting assistant who drives around Bucharest day and night for a production company looking for authentic actors for an image film. In the process, she records aggressively obscene TikTok videos to channel her frustration. The result is a film production in which exploited people are instrumentalized for the whitewashing of a Western European insurance company. Director Radu Jude brilliantly combines different time periods and media formats. The sequences of the central plot line, shot in black and white, are interrupted by a historical Romanian color film, which also centers on a female taxi driver with her existential questions. The film impresses with its concise critique of capitalism and its self-reflexive mode. The Eastern European protagonists retain their cultural sovereignty despite the repressive working conditions. (Photo: © 4Proof Film)