Connect with us
2019 Locarno Film Festival Predictions

The Conversation

The Conversation: Leaping to Locarno’s Leopard

The Conversation: Leaping to Locarno’s Leopard

Arriving August 7th and extending through August 17th, the Locarno Film Festival and its leaping Leopard is the final stepping stone before the grand finale of the year’s fall festival circuit. A bit harder to predict across the board, will Lili Hinstin (who replaces departing Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian) move away from favoring art-house and experimentation in form? A stomping ground for newcomers and auteurs eschewing mainstream sensibilities, as we ponder the glitzier parade of Venice, here are some under-the-radar items which seem poised to compete for a spotted feline. The films featured at Locarno72 will be announced on Wednesday, July 17 2019, day of the official press conference for the presentation of the program.

An obvious choice would seem to be Pedro Costa’s Vitalina Varela, which was initially rumored to be a contender for the opening night film of Un Certain Regard. Romania’s Cristi Puiu has an apparently three-hour French-language film, Malmkrog, which would be the director’s first premiere outside of Cannes besides is 2013 film Three Exercises of Interpretation (which was adapted from the same Russian text, Vladimir Solovyov’s book War, Progress and the End of History: Three Conversations, Including a Short Story of the Anti-Christ)—however it looks to have premiered in Romania earlier this year (which means a North American premiere potentially in TIFF’s Wavelengths, which programmed the earlier Solovyov venture). Arturo Ripstein’s The Devil Between the Legs could also be another possibility thanks to what looks like an over-stuffed Venice.

Matias Pineiro, who if he has his project Portia completed, would be another obvious possibility. Pietro Marcello’s Martin Eden has been whispered amongst prognostications for Venice, despite our initial inklings it might be a Locarno possibility. Guillaume Nicloux’s Just Great might be the French filmmaker’s return to the festival, and fellow French director Dominik Moll could appear here with Seules de Betes. Quebec has a strong cache of projects yet to debut, as Denis Cote has his second film of the year, Wilcox while Anne Emond has Jeune Juliette, Louise Archambault has And the Birds Rained Down and Matthew Rankin with The 20th Century.

Other familiar names with titles expecting to be announced in one of the few major platforms are Danielle Arbid with Passion Simple, Christian Schochow with Deutschstunde, Sebastian Betbeder with Debout sur la montagne, Aleksey Fedorchenko with Last Dear Bulgaria and Peter Brenner with The Split Tongue. Some newcomers one could expect to show are David Zonana with Workforce, Chen Boy Yilin with Money Boys, Catherine Linstrom with Nuclear, Vincent Le Port with Bruno Reidal, actor David Dencik with his Miss Osaka, while The Tribe DP Valentyn Vasyanovych has Atlantis. Belén FunesA Thief’s Daughter, Valérie Donzelli‘s Notre dame and Crestone by Marnie Ellen Hertzler close out our list.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

Click to comment

More in The Conversation

To Top