email print share on Facebook share on Twitter share on reddit pin on Pinterest

LOCARNO 2021 Awards

Indonesia’s Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash walks away with Locarno’s Golden Leopard

by 

- The Swiss festival’s leopard roars back to life with a welcome dose of irony, awarding its main award to Edwin’s new work

Indonesia’s Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash walks away with Locarno’s Golden Leopard
Muhammad Zaidy, producer of Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash, with the Golden Leopard (© Locarno Film Festival/Ti-Press/Massimo Pedrazzini)

The Golden Leopard winner of this 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival, which didn’t hand its Lifetime Achievement Award to the master of the giallo form Dario Argento by chance, reflects the vision of its new artistic director Giona A Nazzaro and her team, who enhanced the Swiss festival with a generous helping of genre films. They rounded off an eclectic programme, which was arguably more accessible to wider audiences than in previous years. Indeed, this seems to be one of Nazzaro’s stated aims: without compromising on the quality of the selection, the director isn’t afraid of opening the doors of “her” festival to audiences governed by very different sensitivities: “our goal is to breathe life into a festival that’s free-thinking, inclusive and, most importantly, popular”.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

The leading trio within the International Competition - Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Edwin, a co-production between Indonesia, Singapore and Germany, A New Old Play [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Hong Kong/France) by Qiu Jiongjiong and Zeros and Ones [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Abel Ferrara – which respectively won the Golden Leopard, the Special Jury Prize and the Leopard for Best Direction, perfectly sum up the spirit of this year’s festival, which remained true to its “authorial” tradition whilst also opening itself up to new and courageous offerings. Whilst the appearance of the legendary US director Abel Ferrara’s name in the winners list was nigh-on inevitable - despite the fact that his film left many viewers (and critics) perplexed - this year’s Golden Leopard was decidedly less predictable and a breath of fresh air within a cinematic landscape which still tends to prioritise the virile strength automatically associated with “male” attributes. The Special Mentions awarded to Swiss film Soul of a Beast [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lorenz Merz
film profile
]
by Lorenz Merz (which also earned itself the Ecumenical Award) and Spanish work The Sacred Spirit [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Chema García Ibarra
film profile
]
by Chema García Ibarra are likewise in keeping with this desire to prioritise “atypical” and free-thinking movies which aren’t afraid of injecting a healthy and cathartic dose of self-irony into their stories. It’s no coincidence, then, that this year’s Leopard for Best Actor was awarded to the non-professional actors gracing Neus Ballús’ Spanish title The Odd-Job Men [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Neus Ballús
film profile
]
(which won the Europa Cinemas Label Prize, as well as a Special Mention from the Youth Jury): Mohamed Mellali and Valerio Escolar. Meanwhile, the intense acting performance delivered by Anastasiya Krasovskaya, playing her first ever role in Gerda by Russian director Natalya Kudryashova, won her the Leopard for Best Actress.

The Cineasti del Presente competition also rewarded courage, in terms of storytelling but also form, shining a light on films extolling the fragilities in all of us and the courage it takes to assert our individuality. The Golden Leopard in this respect was awarded to Francesco Montagner’s moving documentary Brotherhood [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Francesco Montagner
film profile
]
, while the winner of the Best Emerging Director Award - Hleb Papou (The Legionnaire [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hleb Papou
film profile
]
) - was also Italian. Perhaps more surprising was the victory of Émilie Aussel’s delicate and aesthetically demanding first feature film Our Eternal Summer [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Émilie Aussel
film profile
]
, which bagged itself a well-deserved Special Jury Prize. Meanwhile, the mighty Saskia Rosendahl (in Sabrina Sarabi’s No One’s With The Calves [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sabrina Sarabi
film profile
]
) and the touching Gia Agumava in Elene Naveriani’s Wet Sand [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elene Naveriani
film profile
]
(Switzerland/Georgia), which is a veritable hymn to diversity, scooped the Best Actress and Best Actor awards, respectively, and Charlotte Colbert’s English film She Will [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Charlotte Colbert
film profile
]
, which was well-received by audiences and critics alike, was handed the Swatch First Feature Award, alongside Araceli Lemos’ magnetic and intriguing work Holy Emy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Araceli Lemos
film profile
]
, co-produced by Greece, France and the USA.

As for the Piazza Grande, Hinterland [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Stefan Ruzowitzky
film profile
]
by Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitsky (who has previously claimed the Best Film in a Foreign Language Oscar) was the work which successfully won over the public to claim the UBS Audience Award, while Rose, the first feature film by French newcomer-director Aurélie Saada, earned itself the Variety Piazza Grande Prize. Last but not least, French title After Blue (Paradis sale) [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by the charismatic Bertrand Mandico and Heavens Above [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Srđan Dragojević
film profile
]
by Srdan Dragojević nabbed the FIPRESCI Prize and the First Youth Jury Award, respectively. 

The full list of awards is as follows:

International Competition

Golden Leopard, Locarno City Festival Grand Prize for Best Film
Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Edwin (Indonesia/Singapore/Germany)

Ascona and Losone Municipalities Special Jury Prize
A New Old Play [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Qiu Jiongjiong (Hong Kong/France)

Leopard for Best Direction awarded by the City and Region of Locarno
Zeros and Ones [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Abel Ferrara (Germany/UK/USA)

Leopard for Best Actress
Anastasiya Krasovskaya - Gerda (Russia)

Leopard for Best Actor
Mohamed Mellali and Valero Escolar - The Odd-Job Men [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Neus Ballús
film profile
]
(Spain)

Special Mentions
Soul of a Beast [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lorenz Merz
film profile
]
- Lorenz Merz (Switzerland)
The Sacred Spirit [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Chema García Ibarra
film profile
]
- Chema García Ibarra (Spain/France/Turkey)

Cineasti del Presente Competition

Golden Leopard, Cineasti del Presente Competition for Best Film
Brotherhood [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Francesco Montagner
film profile
]
- Francesco Montagner (Czech Republic/Italy)

Best Emerging Director, awarded by the City and Region of Locarno
Hleb Papou – The Legionnaire [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hleb Papou
film profile
]
(Italy/France)

Ciné+ Special Jury Prize
Our Eternal Summer [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Émilie Aussel
film profile
]
- Émilie Aussel (France)

Leopard for Best Actress
Saskia Rosendahl - No One’s With The Calves [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sabrina Sarabi
film profile
]
(Germany)

Leopard for Best Actor
Gia Agumava - Wet Sand [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elene Naveriani
film profile
]
(Switzerland/Georgia)

Pardi di Domani (Leopards of Tomorrow)

Short Arthouse Films Competition

Swiss Life Little Golden Leopard for Best Arthouse Short
Creature - María Silvia Esteve (Argentina/Switzerland)

International Competition
 
SRG SSR Little Golden Leopard for Best International Short
Neon Phantom - Leonardo Martinelli (Brazil)

SRG SSR International Competition Little Silver Leopard
The Demons of Dorothy - Alexis Langlois (France)

Pardi di Domani BONALUMI Engineering Award for Best Direction
Eliane Esther Bots - In Flow Of Words (the Netherlands)

Medien Patent Verwaltung AG Award
Home - Myriam Uwiragiye Birara (Rwanda)

Special Mention
First Time [The Time For All But Sunset – Violet] - Nicolaas Schmidt (Germany)

Locarno Film Festival Short selected for the European Film Awards
In Flow Of Words - Eliane Esther Bots (the Netherlands)

National Competition
 
Swiss Life Little Golden Leopard for Best Swiss Short
Strangers - Nora Longatti (Switzerland)

Swiss Life National Competition Little Silver Leopard
After A Room - Naomi Pacifique (UK/the Netherlands/Switzerland)

Best Swiss Newcomer
Flavio Luca Marano and Jumana Issa - It Must (Switzerland)

Critics’ Week

SRG SSR Award
The Balcony Movie [+see also:
interview: Paweł Łoziński
film profile
]
 – Pawel Lozinski (Poland)

Locarno Zonta Club Award
How to Kill a Cloud [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tuija Halttunen
film profile
]
– Tuija Halttunen (Finland/Denmark)

Marco Zucchi Award
A Thousand Fires [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Saeed Taji Farouki (France/Switzerland/the Netherlands /Palestine)

Other awards
 
Swatch First Feature Award
She Will [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Charlotte Colbert
film profile
]
- Charlotte Colbert (UK)
Special Mention
Holy Emy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Araceli Lemos
film profile
]
- Araceli Lemos (Greece/France/USA)

UBS Audience Award
Hinterland [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Stefan Ruzowitzky
film profile
]
- Stefan Rudowitsky (Austria, Luxemburg)

Variety Piazza Grande Award
Rose [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Aurélie Saada (France)

Ecumenical Award
Soul of a Beast - Lorenz Merz

FIPRESCI Prize
After Blue (Paradis sale) [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Bertrand Mandico (France)

Europa Cinemas Label 
The Odd-Job Men - Neus Ballús

Youth Jury Awards

First Award
Heavens Above [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Srđan Dragojević
film profile
]
- Srđan Dragojević (Serbia/Germany/North Macedonia/Slovenia/Croatia/Montenegro/Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Second Award
A New Old Play - Qiu Jiongjiong

Third Award
Medea – Alexander Zeldovich (Russia)

Special Mentions
The Odd-Job Men - Neus Ballús

“L’ambiente è qualità di vita” Award (“Environment = Quality of Life”)
Gerda – Natalya Kudryashova

Second Youth Jury Awards (Cineasti del Presente Competition)
Whether the Weather is Fine [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
– Carlo Francisco Manatad (Philippines/France/Singapore/Indonesia/Germany/Qatar)

Third Youth Jury Awards (Pardi di Domani Competition)

for the International Competition
The Demons of Dorothy – Alexis Langlois (France)

for the National Competition  
Dihya – Lucia Martinez Garcia (Switzerland)

Special Mentions
Steakhouse - Špela Čadež (Slovenia/Germany/France)
Cavales – Juliette Riccaboni (Switzerland)

Open Doors Shorts

Youth Jury Prize
Side by Side – Polen Ly (Cambodia)

Special Mention
Dear to Me – Monica Vanesa Tedja (Germany/Indonesia)

Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur Residency @ Villa Sträuli
Fantasma Neon – Leonardo Martinelli (Brazil)

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

(Translated from Italian)

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.

Privacy Policy