Magazine article Screen International

Locarno's Pere Claims 'Perfect Balance' for 2011 Festival

Magazine article Screen International

Locarno's Pere Claims 'Perfect Balance' for 2011 Festival

Article excerpt

The 64th Locarno Film Festival achieved "a perfect balance" this year, according to Olivier Père in his second outing as the festival's artistic director. Also, the ambitious Casa Del Cinema project could be in place by 2015.

Speaking exclusively to Screen Daily ahead of Saturday's official awards ceremony and the world premiere of Stéphane Robelin's And If We All Lived Together, Père explained that this balance had ranged "between the Minnelli retrospective, the International Competition with a strong artistic content mixed with auteur names from independent cinema like Mia Hansen-Love, Shinji Aoyama and Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche through unexpected debuts such as Anca Damian's Crulic - The Path To Beyond, to a celebration of actors, actresses, and producers we love and admire including Isabelle Huppert, Abel Ferrara, Mike Medavoy, Gérard Depardieu and Claudia Cardinale."

He declared that the 2011 edition was promising to be "even more successful than last year."

"What we achieved this year is not only the result of 12 months' work, but rather culminating from the past two years since some things cannot be achieved straightaway," Père observed. "It is our goal to make Locarno a great international festival with ambitious content and an identity as a place where you can make discoveries, to be the place for new talents, new countries and new kinds of films."

"At the same time, we are not a specialised festival - we love all kinds of cinema and want to make Locarno a great party for all film lovers, those who like to scout for new talents as well as for celebrating great popular cinema whether it is of the past, present or the future."

"Locarno showed this year that the Piazza Grande is the ideal place to have the European premiere of summer blockbusters," he continued. "I had wanted to do this last year but there had been a schedule conflict between the US and European releases. But it was perfect timing for three films - Super 8, Friends with Benefits and Cowboys & Aliens - this time round. We showed that the festival has the organisational capability with hospitality and security to be able to collaborate with the US majors in order to bring the Hollywood stars here for the promotion of their new films."

His decision to present films from this year's Cannes on the Piazza Grande also came up trumps with the screenings of Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive and Aki Kaurismäki's Le Havre. …

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