RETURNING for its 69th edition, Festival del film Locarno is set to debut highly-anticipated Malaysian film Interchange at its famed Piazza Grande on 5 August 2016! The festival, which previously world-premiered Liew Seng Tat‘s critically-acclaimed Lelaki Harapan Dunia in 2014, is one the oldest film festivals around today with a reputation for identifying filmmaking trends and “seeking out cinema of the future”.
Directed by Dain Iskandar Said of Bunohan fame, Interchange stars Nicholas Saputra, Prisia Nasution, Iedil Putra and Shaheizy Sam. It will be one of seventeen world premieres at the festival and will screen on the festival’s iconic outdoor screen (measuring 26 metres in width and 14 metres in height!) which is accessible to over 8,000 viewers.
Interchange began development in 2012 and completed post-production two months ago. The film, written by June Tan, Redza Minhat, Nandita Solomon and Dain himself, revolves around a cop and a crime photographer who find themselves treading supernatural ground as they pursue a series of ritualistic murders.
Produced by Apparat Studios in collaboration with Mouly Surya and Parama Wirasmo‘s production house Cinesurya, the film was funded by Sonneratia Capital, Seeing Eye Films and the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDeC).
Often referred to as Locarno International Film Festival, the event is notable for its focus on independent cinema and for serving as an international launchpad for renowned filmmakers such as Mike Leigh, Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee, Abbas Kiarostami and Gus Van Sant.
Its top honour, the Pardo d’Oro (Golden Leopard) is a coveted prize which in the past ten years have gone to at least five Asian filmmakers including award-winning South Korea’s Hong San Soo, China’s Hongqi Li, and Filipino independent Lav Diaz.
The 2016 edition of Locarno will open with Colm McCarthy‘s post-apocalyptic zombie movie The Girl With All The Gifts and close with Ashutosh Gowariker‘s action-romance saga Mohenjo Daro. The latter, a Bollywood director, is best known for Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar.
Locarno’s international competition meanwhile features 17 films from a diverse set of filmmakers including Thailand’s Anocha Suwichakornpong, and Japan’s Akihiko Shiota and Katsuya Tomita.
A tribute to late Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami — who passed away earlier in the month in Paris — has also been arranged for the festival. On top of screening his best-known films, the festival will be premiering Filming in Cuba With Abbas Kiarostami, a series of shots developed from a workshop earlier this year with the Iranian auteur believed to showcase his last work before his death.
The 69th edition of the festival will be held from 3 – 13 August at Via Ciseri 23, Locarno.