Lav Diaz wins Golden Leopard

From What is Before is Locarno's long-haul winner.

by Richard Mowe

Lav Diaz wins Golden Leopard for From What Is Before.
Lav Diaz wins Golden Leopard for From What Is Before.
An ambitious and challenging film by Filipino director Lav Diaz, who headed the international competition jury at last year’s Locarno Film Festival, has taken top honours himself at this year’s edition - From What is Before (Mula Sa Kung Ano Ang Noon), lasting 338 minutes, was awarded the Pardo d’Oro or Golden Leopard at a ceremony today (16 August). The film also took the FIPRESCI critics' prize.

Set in 1972-set, black-and-white period piece takes place against the background of uneasy atmosphere just before the country’s president Ferdinand Marcos placed the troubled country under martial law.

The jury, headed by Italian director Gianfranco Rosi, also included actresses Alice Braga and Connie Nielsen.

The Special Jury Prize went to a literary rom-com, Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip, starring Jason Schwartzman as a self-absorbed young novelist.

Lav Diaz's From What Is Before - Locarno's Golden Leopard winner
Lav Diaz's From What Is Before - Locarno's Golden Leopard winner
Directing honours went to Portuguese director Pedro Costa for Horse Money (Cavalo Dinheiro). Acting prizes were awarded to actress Ariane Labed, playing the forlorn sailor in Fidelio, and actor Artem Bystrov, who carries Russian drama The Fool (Durak) as a plumber making a stand against a corrupt system. The jury also gave a special mention to Gabriel Mascaro’s August Winds from Brazil.

UBS Public Prize predictably went to a feel-good Swiss comedy Schweizer Helden, in which a woman works with a group of asylum seekers to put on a holiday stage show. The Variety Piazza Grande Award was bestowed on Marie Heurtin, by Jean-Pierre Améris, dealing with a young nun’s devoted efforts to break through to a young deaf and blind girl.

The Festival’s Opera Primi (or best first film) prize has gone to South Korean director Soon-mi Yoo for her Songs From The North, with a special mention given to Sawada Masa’s I, Kamikaze.

The jury for the Cinema of the Present sidebar - which spotlights first and second features - gave its Pardo d’oro trophy to Mexico’s Ricardo Silva for his controversial and explicit Navajazo, depicting life among the drug addicts and hookers living on the margins in Tijuana.

Oscar Ruiz Navia’s Los Hongos won the Special Jury Prize, in this section while Simone Rapisarda Casanova earned emerging director honours with The Creation of Meaning.

The awards in full:

International Competition - Golden Leopard: From What Is Before (Mula Sa Kung Ano Ang Noon) by Lav Diaz (Philippines)

Special jury prize: Listen Up Philip by Alex Ross Perry (US)

Best director award: Pedro Costa for Horse Money (Cavalo Dinheiro) (Portugal)

Best actress award Ariane Labed for Fidelio, L’Odyssée D’Alice by Lucie Borleteau (France)

Best actor award: Artem Bystrov for The Fool (Durak) by Yury Bykov (Russia)

Special mention August Winds by Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil)

CINEMA OF THE PRESENT

Golden Leopard for Cinema of the Present - Navajazo by Ricardo Silva (Mexico)

Special jury prize for a first film Los Hongos by Oscar Ruiz Navia (Colombia/France/Argentina/Germany)

Best new director The Creation of Meaning (La Creazione Di Significato) by Simone Rapisarda Casanova (Canada/Italy)

Special Mention Un Jeune Poete by Damien Manivel (France)

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