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"Vitalina Varela" by Pedro Costa triumphs at the Locarno Festival


The Portuguese film also won the award for best actress. Special mention to the Italian Manuela Delpero for "Maternal"

Pedro Costa with Vitalina Varela (Ansa)

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17 August 2019The 72nd edition of the Locarno Film Festival ended with the triumph of the Portuguese "Vitalina Varela" , by Pedro Costa, who won the Golden Leopard for best film and the prize for best female performance, which went to interpreter Vitalina Varela.

Cape Verdean, 55, the protagonist arrives in Lisbon three days after her husband's funeral. He has been waiting for the plane ticket for over 25 years. In the sumptuous darkness of a neighborhood crisscrossed with hieratic shadows, suddenly the red of bloody sheets. In Vitalina, having arrived too late, all that remains is to take over the business of the deceased husband. He will not weep for the unfortunate: in front of consummate and miserable men, he will undertake to reconstruct, framing after shot, wall by wall, the memory of a solid home in Cape Verde, against the sad reality of a life that he did not know in Portugal find a real roof.

The Special Jury Prize went to Park Jung-bum's South Korean "Pa-Go" ("Height of the Wave"). It tells the story of the young Yea-eun who fears the sea because he took away her parents. Left alone on an island, she is looked after, but also abused, by the villagers. Park's third feature proceeds like a detective film in which, rather than specifying, the predicted crime disintegrates in the deleterious climate of a small coastal town. Therefore, wishes and beliefs, longings and secrets emerge on the surface of the previously announced genre film. What is the crime, then, if not that committed, against the dark and graceful realism of this cinema, by the characters who try to distort reality?

The Pardo for the best director was won by the French Damien Manivel for "Les enfants d'Isadora" , (France-South Korea), while the recognition for the best male interpretation goes to the Brazilian Regis Myrupu for "A febre" by Maya Da-Rin (Brazil-France-Germany), a film that also gets the Fipresci award from international critics.

The international jury, chaired by the French director Catherine Breillat, also awarded two special mentions: the Indonesian "Hiruk-pikuk si al-kisah" ("The Science of Fictions"), by Yosep Anggi Noen, and to "Maternal" , by Manuela Delpero (Italy-Argentina), which tells of two teenage mothers in a religious shelter in Buenos Aires. Sister Paola arrives to take the vows. Approaching the maternity of the two, he will find himself in difficulty. Facing a relevant social theme, Maternal - debut in Delpero's fiction feature - starts from an emblematic place where pregnant girls, often minors, live together with women who will never be mothers. On this subterranean tension he works delicately building a narrative that lives on the stares' looks and silences. Lidiya Liberman, Denise Carrizo and Agustina Malale interpret it effectively.

Welcomed with great warmth by Italian and international critics, and greeted by a public success that grew from showing in projection (to the additional one made necessary by the sold out of the replicas), "Maternal" - a dispàrte production and Vivo film with Rai Cinema, in co-production with Campo Cine - he also won the Europa Cinemas Label award, the Ecumenical Jury award and the second prize of the Youth Jury.

The second competitive section, "Filmmakers of the Present", was won by the Senegalese "Baamum Nafi" ("Nafi's Father") by Mamadou Dia, which is also best first feature. Award for best emerging director to Hassen Ferhani, for "143 Rue du désert" (Algeria-France-Qatar) and special prize of the Ciné + jury to "Ivana cea Groaznica" ("Ivana The Terrible") by Ivana Mladenović (Romania- Serbia).

For the complete list of winners see the Festival website.

On Saturday evening, in the setting of the Rivellino, were also awarded the 'Boccalini d'Oro', the independent critics awards presented at the Locarno Festival, now in its 19th edition and conceived by the critic Ugo Brusaporco. Indonesia's best film "Hiruk-pikuk si al-kisah", best director of the Spanish Eloy Enciso for "Longa Noite" , while the Boccalino for best actress went to Vitalina Varela too.

The president Marco Solari, officially closing the review, stated: "At the end of the current edition the real objective of the Presidency and of the Board remains 'Locarno 2025'. The Festival must in fact be able to preserve the extremely high artistic quality achieved in order to continue to be an important economic source for the whole region and a platform for international political meetings useful to Ticino and Switzerland ".

Artistic director Lili Hinstin commented: "I feel very happy and satisfied with my first edition. The audience's prize reflects what we have heard with the art team, it has an unparalleled intelligence and generosity. Locarno has the best audience and we feel very fortunate to present the films we choose in this frame. We had designed an inclusive festival, capable of gathering and pushing forward the Locarno legacy thanks to the new projects activated: after these ten days together it was surprising to realize how cinema can still become an instrument of awareness, pushing us to believe in the great utopia that cinema knows how to create ”.

The operational director Raphaël Brunschwig gave an initial assessment of the edition: “We are satisfied with how the event took place. During the eleven days, 157,500 (+ 1.2%) spectators attended the screenings: in Piazza Grande there were 59,500, while in theaters 98,000. Locarno is increasingly becoming an international platform for film professionals: 2,127 professional accreditations, 1,039 film industry representatives, while accredited journalists and photographers amounted to 855. Starting work on # Locarno73 from today "He concluded.

The 73rd edition will be held from 5 to 15 August 2020.

Source: rainews

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