Locarno Film Festival: Piazza Grande Opening Film and initial selection International Competition

The American romantic comedy, Marc Webb’s 500 Days of Summer, will open the 62nd edition of the Locarno Film Festival on Wednesday August 5th, 2009 on the Piazza Grande. This first film, presented as a European première, starring Zooey Deschanel (Yes Man, The Happening) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick, Mysterious Skin) is distributed by Twentieth Century Fox and will be released in Europe in the Fall.

The line-up for the official selection in Competition is now shaping up, and several world premières have already been confirmed. Amongst them, a French-Swiss coproduction, Complices, the eagerly anticipated first feature film by Swiss director Frédéric Mermoud, who won critical acclaim for his earlier short films (Rachel, L’escalier). Starring Emmanuelle Devos (Wild Grass, Kings and Queen) and Gilbert Melki (Côte d’Azur, Changing Times), Complices revisits the genre film by combining a police investigation with a love story. Produced by Tabo Tabo Films, co-produced by Saga Production, the film is represented by Pyramide Distribution. Another first film competing for the Golden Leopard is Os famosos e os duendes da morte (The Famous and the Dead) from Esmir Filho, a rising young talent in Brazilian ci nema, and a graduate of the São Paulo Film School, whose most recent short film, Saliva, was screened at Critics’ Week in Cannes in 2007. The film, supported by Fonds Sud Cinéma, is a tale of adolescence with a touch of mystery. It is produced by Dezenove Som e Imagens with Warner Bros. Brazil and Umedia, the latter of which is also handling international sales.

Finally, the latest film to be announced for the competition as an international première is the Chinese feature The Search by Pema Tseden (also known as Wanma Caidan), the tale of a spiritual and cinematic quest, inspired by a Tibetan opera. A well established writer and filmmaker, Tibetan Pema Tseden’s previous credits include The Silent Holy Stones (2005). The film is produced by Himalaya Audio & Visual.

The 62nd edition of the Locarno Festival will take place from 5 to 15 August, 2009.

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