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Locarno, August 21st, 2017 (SIGNIS/INTERFILM). At the 70th edition of the Festival of Locarno, the ecumenical Jury, appointed by SIGNIS and INTERFILM, awarded its Prize, endowed with 20.000 CHF by the Reformed Churches and the Catholic Church of Switzerland, and bound to the theatrical distribution of the film, to Lucky, directed by John Carroll Lynch (USA, 2017).
The jury explained that the film is “an homage to Harry Dean Stanton, one of our greatest character actors” and “winsomely explores the meaning of life, given the immanence of death.” The jury members added that Lucky is “directed by an accomplished actor and starring David Lynch in a memorable supporting role”. The movie is set in a small desert town. Played by the 91-year-old Stanton, Lucky, though angry, fearful and alone, comes to accept the love of others and finally to find in his life an underlying spirituality.
In addition, the jury awarded a Commendation to Vinterbrødre (Winter Brothers), directed by Hlynur Pálmason (Denmark / Iceland, 2017)
Vinterbrødre takes us along into the darkness of a limestone mine where only little light shines through. Two unequal and traumatized brothers fight for a bit of love in a world consisting of hard labour, illegal alcohol transactions and social frostiness. The jury explained that “the film shows, through its strong images and an impressive sound design, how primitive life can become, and how strong the desire for humanity.”
The jury awarded a second Commendation to the film Qing Tin zhi yan (Dragonfly Eyes), directed by Xu Bing (China / USA, 2017)
Xu Bing, by using only the images of surveillance cameras, invents a story of a couple who become enslaved by 21st-century communication devices. In his experimental filming Xu Bing shows us the fact that technology abolishes all distance without bringing any proximity.
The members of the Jury were Joachim Valentin (Germany, Jury President), Monique Beguin (France), Arielle Domon (France), Lukáš Jirsa (Czech Republic), Robert K. Johnston (USA) and Rinke van Hell (Netherlands).