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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Pardo d’onore to JIA Zhang-ke

For the occasion the Festival will screen one of the director’s masterpieces, Platform (2000), as well as his latest documentary film, I Wish I Knew (2010), shown in the section “Un certain regard” at the Cannes Festival this year. In addition, a masterclass with JIA Zhang-ke, open to all, will be held on Friday, August 6 at the Forum.

A leading figure in the “sixth generation” of Chinese filmmakers, JIA Zhang-ke was born in 1970 in Fenyang and later graduated from the Beijing Film Academy. He shot his first three feature films in his native province, outside of the official structures: Pickpocket (1997), Platform (2000) and Unknown Pleasures (2002) were not allowed a theatrical release in China, but were selected for the festivals of Berlin, Venice and Cannes, respectively. In 2004, JIA Zhang-ke received permission from the Chinese authorities to film his documentary The World, and thus emerged from the underground. Winning a Golden Lion at Venice for Still Life (2006), JIA Zhang-ke has made nine feature-length films to date, including three documentaries. He is also a producer, his most recent production being Plastic City (2008), directed by his long-term cameraman, YU Lik-wai.

Olivier Père, Artistic Director of the Festival del film Locarno, comments “This is the first time that Locarno has given a Leopard of Honour to such a young filmmaker, but he is already one of the major names in world cinema. We are proud to celebrate the enormous talent of JIA Zhang-ke, an exciting filmmaker, who, film after film, with great aesthetic rigour and an innate sense of time and space, offers a unique perspective on the profound changes occurring in contemporary China.”

Awarded every year to one or more masters of contemporary cinema, previous recipients of the Locarno Festival’s Pardo d’onore include Manoel de Oliveira, Chen Kaige, Ken Loach, Ermanno Olmi, Abbas Kiarostami, Wim Wenders, Aleksandr Sokurov, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Amos Gitai and, in 2009, William Friedkin.

A main sponsor of the Locarno Film Festival since 1998, Swisscom supports the Leopard of Honour for the second consecutive year.

The 63rd edition of the Festival del film Locarno will take place 4 - 14 August, 2010.

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