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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 a working base or living 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.
Director, documentary filmmaker and screenwriter Fulvio Bernasconi was born in Lugano in 1969. In a career of over twenty years he has explored a variety of audiovisual formats and languages: documentaries, full-length fiction features, TV movies, short films and TV series. After graduating in political sciences from the University of Geneva, Bernasconi went on to gain a diploma from Switzerland’s first film school, the Lausanne-based DAVI (Département d'Audiovisuel de l'École Cantonale d'Art).
The filmmaker’s connection with the Locarno Film Festival goes back to 1995, when he presented his debut film Voie de garage (1995), a documentary on homeless people in Geneva. The following year his short film Bad Trip to Mars (1996) was selected for the Pardi di domani sidebar.
The freshness and originality of Bernasconi’s approach to directing quickly attracted attention: in 1999 he was invited to take part – with Hopp Schwyz – in the documentary project ID Swiss, a series concentrating on the variety of cultures present in Switzerland, and in 2002 he made SwissLove for Expo.02. He has continued to develop a broad range of themes and formats: from drug rehabilitation to alcohol abuse, from environmental disasters to more intimate and personal stories and even an occasional foray into comedy. The documentary Powerful Men (2005) and the movie Out of Bounds (2007) were both presented at Locarno and gained him an international profile.
In 2016 he completed his most ambitious work yet, Miséricorde, a Swiss-Canadian co-production. Shot in Canada, the film was premiered at the Zurich Film Festival. Following on from the documentary Dick Marty – A Scream for Justice (2018), made for Italian-language Swiss broadcaster RSI and presented at numerous festivals, Bernasconi is currently working on season two of the popular French-Belgian TV series Quartier des banques (2017 – present), of which he is the co-creator.
Cristina Trezzini – President of the Jury