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Francesco Rosi Honored In Locarno

Italian director Francesco Rosi will receive a Lifetimetime Achievement Pardo Award at the Locarno Film Festival this Friday, August 13. The award ceremony will take place in the city's famed Piazza Grande, one of Europe's most atmospheric town squares.

An open air screening of one of Rosi’s masterpiece MANY WARS AGO (Uomini contro, 1970) starring Gian Maria Volonté and Alain Cuny, will be presented in a print restored by the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – Cineteca Nazionale (Rome). On the same evening, the Piazza Grande audience will have an opportunity to see a rare Bernardo Bertolucci short film IL CANALE (1967), restored by the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, the Archivio Nazionale Cinema d’Impresa and ENI.

Born in Naples in 1922, Rosi first planned on studying law but entered the film industry in 1948 as an assistant to the master filmmaker Luchino Visconti on his LA TERRA TREMA. He made his debut as a director in 1952 with RED SHIRTS, taking over from leading director Goffredo Alessandrini after he abandoned the production. His true emergence as a director is considered to be his 1958 film THE CHALLENGE (La Sfida), based on the story of Mafioso boss Pasquale Simonetti. The realist nature of this film also caused a stir alluding to mafia control of the government.

Throughout the 1960s Rosi made films that centre around controversial issues, starting with SALVATORE GIULIANO, a film that won him the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 1962 Berlin Film Festival. In 1965 his MOMENT OF TRUTH (Momento della Verità)
tells the story of Miguel, a boy who eventually becomes a bullfighter
and dies in this deadly profession. This film articulates the dangers to
the animals and the matadors in this deadly sport.

The years 1972 to 1976 cemented Rosi's reputation internationally as a director with THE MATTEI AFFAIR (Il Caso Mattei, 1972) which won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or, LUCKY LUCIANO (1974) and ILLUSTRIOUS CORPSES (1976).

In 2008, Rosi received a Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement at the Berlin International Film Festival, which screened a 13-film retrospective of his work. The esteemed director will be in Locarno on Friday for a special conversation, chaired by film historian Sergio Toffetti. For more information on the Festival, visit:

Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Circuit Editor


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About Festival Circuit

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

Coverage of the world of film festivals on the international film festival circuit.

New York

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