At the 65th edition of the Festival del film Locarno, the Premio Raimondo Rezzonico (Best Producer Award) will be presented to Arnon Milchan, one of the most prolific and successful American independent film producer of the past 25 years, with over 100 feature films to his credit.
On this occasion the Festival del film Locarno will show Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America (1984), as well as Martin Scorsese’s King of Comedy (1983) and Terry Gilliam’s cult film Brazil (1985).
The day after the Award Ceremony on the Piazza Grande, Arnon Milchan will give a lecture on film that is open to the public.
Artistic Director Olivier Père comments “We are delighted to welcome to Locarno one of the last moguls of world cinema, Arnon Milchan, a lover of the arts and a visionary who can facilitate filmmakers in following their wildest dreams, a risk taker and man of passion, whose courage, ambition and taste has enabled some of the most important masterpieces in contemporary cinema”. (Olivier Père’s blog)
The Premio Raimondo Rezzonico was established in 2002, in memory of the man who was the Festival’s chairman for almost twenty years. This award, offered by the Municipality of Minusio, is attributed every year to an important independent producer, with the aim to highlight a key figure in film, and to salute their courage, their ability to take risk and support auteurs. Previous recipients of this Award include Paulo Branco, Ruth Waldburger, Karl Baumgartner, Jeremy Thomas, the Agat Films & Cie collective, Lita Stantic, Christine Vachon, Martine Marignac, Menahem Golan and, in 2011, Mike Medavoy.
The 65th Festival del film Locarno will be held from 1 to 11 August 2012.
Arnon Milchan biography:
Born in Israel, Milchan was educated at the University of Geneva. His first business venture was transforming his father’s modest business into one of his country’s largest agro-chemical companies. This early achievement was a harbinger of Milchan’s now-legendary reputation in the international marketplace as a keen businessman. Soon, Milchan began to underwrite projects in areas that had always held a special interest for him – film, television and theater. Early projects include Roman Polanski’s theater production of Amadeus, Dizengoff 99, La Menace, The Medusa Touch and the mini-series Masada. By the end of the 1980s, Milchan had produced such films as Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy (1983), Sergio Leone’s Once Upon at Time in America (1984) and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985), the three masterpieces that will be screened in Locarno.
After the huge successes of The War of the Roses (1989) by Danny DeVito and Pretty Woman (1990) by Garry Marshall, Milchan founded New Regency Productions and went on to produce a string of successful films including JFK (1991)by Oliver Stone, The Client (1994) by Joel Schumacher, L.A. Confidential (1997) by Curtis Hanson, Fight Club (1999) by David Fincher, Man on Fire (2004) by Tony Scott, Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) by Doug Liman, The Fountain (2006) by Darren Aronofsky and Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) by Wes Anderson.