A jury composed of three personalities from the world of cinema, culture, journalism and film criticism will award the best films presented as international or world premieres in all the Festival sections, except for the independent sections Semaine de la Critique and Panorama Suisse. First feature: first fiction, documentary, or animated film over 60 minutes in length. Films by directors who have already had such a film theatrically released or shown at a film event will not be considered first features.
To promote cinema as an art form and encourage new and young cinema, the International Federation of Film Critics awards the International Critics’ Prize (FIPRESCI Prize) to a film presented in Concorso internazionale.
As part of the Cinema&Gioventù initiative - organized by Bellinzona’s Castellinaria Young Film Festival Bellinzona on behalf of the Dipartimento dell’educazione, della cultura e dello sport of the Canton Ticino – three juries made up of young film fans will award the following prizes: a jury will select the three best directors of full-length features shown in the Concorso internazionale: 1st prize 6,000 CHF, 2nd prize 4,000 CHF, 3rd prize 2,000 CHF. A second jury will award two prizes of 1,500 CHF to the best short films in the Concorso nazionale and internazionale in the Pardi di domani section. A third jury will assign a prize of 2,000 CHF to the best film shown in the Concorso Cineasti del presente.
Lastly a special prize of 3,000 CHF, offered by the Canton’s Dipartimento del territorio, will be awarded to the film in the Concorso internazionale which best interprets the concept “environment is quality of life”. In addition, a special prize of 2,000 CHF will be awarded to the films in the Concorso Cineasti del presente of the Present who best interpret the concept "environment is quality of life".
The Grand Prix Semaine de la Critique – Prix SRG SSR, worth 5,000 CHF, is awarded to the director and producer of the winning film. The official jury of the Semaine de la critique also awards the Premio Zonta Club Locarno prize of 2,000 CHF, to the film which is the best expression of social commitment.
The Europa Cinemas Label was launched in 2003 to promote the dissemination and success of European films in the cinema. The Label is awarded to a European film at a crucial moment: at its presentation at a major film festival. In Locarno, a jury of four Europa Cinemas members will confer this Label to a European film in the program series Concorso internazionale and Concorso Cineasti del presente. The Label is meant for the media, buyers, distributors and cinema operators. In addition, Europa Cinemas encourages its members to show the film even at the remotest locations of its network, which comprises as many as 2,684 screens in 1,088 cinemas in 654 cities and 41 countries.
Since 1973 the Ecumenical Jury has awarded its prize to film directors who have been the most successful with their artistic talent in sensitising the viewer to religious, people-related, and social values. It looks at the visions of the creative film directors with a feel for justice, peace, and respect as well as for spiritual dimensions.
The award included prize money of 20,000 CHF provided by the Reformed Churches and the Catholic Church of Switzerland, and is committed for the film’s distribution in Switzerland.