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Martine Marignac, Best Producer 2009 at Locarno

At the 62nd edition of the Locarno International Film Festival the Raimondo Rezzonico Prize 2009 for Best Independent Producer will be presented to French producer Martine Marignac.

A graduate in philosophy and film aesthetics, Martine Marignac began her career as a press officer for Simon Mizrahi, with whom she worked for seven years. She has mixed with then New Wave directors such as Godard, Truffaut and Rohmer, as well as Italian filmmakers Comencini, Risi, Scola, Bellocchio and Ferreri. Martine Marignac moved into production in the early 80s, founding the co-op company La Cecilia. In rapid succession she produced, Jean-Louis Comolli’s L’Ombre rouge (1981), Jacques Rivette’s Le Pont du Nord (1981), Jean-Luc Godard’s Passion (1982), Richard Dembo’s La Diagonale du fou (1984), and Chantal Akerman’s Golden Eighties (1986). In 1987, along with Maurice Tinchant, Vincent Malle and Georges Reinhardt, she formed Pierre Grise Productions, which she still runs today, and over the years the company has become a significant player in French and European independent cinema.

Martine Marignac’s name is closely linked to that of Jacques Rivette, whose official producer she has been for almost thirty years, including his recent Ne touchez pas la hache (2007), along with Jeanne la Pucelle (1994), La Belle Noiseuse (1991) and La Bande des quatre (1989) – the latter two films having screened on Locarno’s Piazza Grande. Martine Marignac has also enjoyed a long collaboration with Georgian director Otar Iosseliani, from La Chasse aux papillons (1992) to Jardins en automne (2006), as she also has with Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, on films such as Antigone (1992) and Sicilia ! (1999), including Jean-Marie Straub’s more recent solo work, Streghe, femmes entre elles (2009). In addition Martine Marignac has supported filmmakers from the younger generation, notably Sophie Fillières, from her second film Aïe (2000), screened out of competition at Locarno. Her filmography also includes several international co-productions, Daniel Schmid’s, Jenatsch (1987), Hors Saison (1992), Marco Bellocchio’s Il sogno della farfalla (1994) and João Cesar Monteiro’s A Comédia de Deus (1995).

Artistic director Frédéric Maire comments «the Locarno Festival intends to celebrate an ardent defender of auteur cinema, who for three decades has worked alongside some of the most renowned and most demanding filmmakers on the European scene; her support for their work is further enhanced by combining production and distribution. Martine Marignac embodies both passion and independence. We are proud to pay tribute to this outstanding personality».

The Raimondo Rezzonico Prize was established in 2002, in memory of the man who was the Festival’s president for almost twenty years. This prestigious annual award honours a major independent film producer. Previous recipients of the Raimondo Rezzonico Prize include Paulo Branco, Ruth Waldburger, Karl Baumgartner, Jeremy Thomas, the collective Agat Films, Lita Stantic and in 2008, Christine Vachon.

The 62nd edition of the Locarno International Film Festival will take place 5 - 15 August, 2009.

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