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The award, given biannually, is intended to honor the work of an individual or company that has made a distinctive contribution to cinema and with Ticino connections, whether by birth, having had a working base or having lived here for at least five years, or someone born in the Canton of Ticino but working elsewhere. The 30,000 CHF prize, launched in 2009 by the Ticino Council of State in collaboration with the Locarno Film Festival, is funded via the Swisslos fund. The 2021 jury is comprised by Cristina Trezzini, Frédéric Maire, Antonio Mariotti, Seraina Rohrer and Nicola Bernasconi.
Born in Bellinzona, Sonia Peng graduated from the Brera Fine Arts Academy and started working as a set designer in the late 1980s. She quickly became a known and appreciated name in the film world, working on dozens of sets. Her work for the big screen includes Nirvana (Gabriele Salvatores, 1997), Hardboiled Egg (Ovosodo by Paolo Virzì, 1997), Viola bacia tutti (Giovanni Veronesi, 1998), Working Slowly (Lavorare con lentezza by Guido Chiesa, 2004), Cado dalle nubi (Gennaro Nunziante, 2009) and Basilicata Coast to Coast (Rocco Papaleo, 2010), in addition to small screen productions like Bella da morire (Andrea Molaioli, 2020).