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76th Locarno's Pardo D'oro To Non-Present Iranian Director

Eleven days of cinema fiesta in Locarno, the resort city at the Lake Maggiore, have concluded last Saturday with an announcement of the winner of the Pardo d'oro (Golden Leopard). For resistance and freedom manifested in his cinematographic work, it was awarded to the Iranian director Ali Ahmadzadeh for his film Mantagheye bohrani (Critical Zone).

Ali Ahmadzadeh was shooting his film clandestinely in the streets of Teheran, circumventing the prohibitions of the Iranian authorities. The entire feature film is constructed in short segments, perhaps made at different times, but which overall tell of a night of 'work' for the character of Amir. The filming space built by Ahmadzadeh is truly a "critical zone" because everything that the Iranian government does not want to admit exists in the country: drug addicts, non-binary night beauties pounding the sidewalks, elderly abandoned in clinics that sedate them, young people who do not observe any Islamic precepts (from living with a dog to the consumption of alcohol and drugs) out of dissent and desperation. The director couln't attend the ceremony, as he was denied an exit visa from Iran.

Meanwhile Pardo for the best director was awarded to the Ukrainian director Maryna Vroda for Stepne, which is the story of Anatoliy, a man who returns home to take care of his dying mother. The meeting with his brother and with a woman he loves makes him reflect on the choices made in his life. And, shortly before her death, her mother reveals to Anatoliy the existence of a treasure.

See the list of all winners here.

This 76th edition of Locarno Film Festival was the last for its long-term president Marco Solari who saluted the audience from the scene of Piazza Grande and received long standing ovations. His successor will be Maja Hoffmann, the art collector and the founder of Fondazione Luma, who will become the first female president to direct the most important cinematographic show in Switzerland.


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