Press Releases  ·  24 | 06 | 2021

Beckett by Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, will open Piazza Grande

Beckett, the new film by Italian director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, produced by Luca Guadagnino, is to open the 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival in Piazza Grande on August 4. Following its premiere at the Festival, the film will also be available exclusively on Netflix from August 13.

©Yannis Drakoulidis - Netflix

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The opening ceremony of the 74th Locarno Film Festival will be held on Wednesday 4 August in Piazza Grande, the iconic open-air theater which was inaugurated exactly 50 years ago. Locarno Film Festival will host the world premiere of the latest film by director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, Beckett, produced by Luca Guadagnino. This marks a welcome return to the Locarno Film Festival for Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, who in 2010 screened his short film Diarchia in the Pardi di domani section. Now, in 2021, the Festival’s opening night feature will be his new thriller, starring John David Washington, Boyd Holbrook, Vicky Krieps and Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander.

While vacationing in Greece, American tourist Beckett (John David Washington), becomes the target of a manhunt after a devastating accident. Forced to run for his life and desperate to get across the country to the American embassy and clear his name, tensions escalate as the authorities close in, political unrest, and Beckett falls even deeper into a dangerous web of conspiracy.

Artistic Director Giona A. Nazzaro: “There’s a piece of Locarno in the success story of Ferdinando Cito Filomarino. From the Pardi di domani to the Piazza Grande. The Locarno Film Festival as an incubator for talent, a training ground and finally as a launch pad for the most exciting filmmakers of the future. Beckett is a thriller that gives an original and contemporary reboot to the lessons learned from directors such as Sydney Pollack and Alan J. Pakula. An action film with a humanist dimension and intense civil engagement, here underpinned by a magisterial performance from John David Washington. Political commitment and great entertainment are the two main ingredients for a Piazza Grande that aims to surprise audiences and reassert the centrality of film in all its forms.

As well as opening the 74th Locarno Film Festival, Beckett will also mark the Festival’s return to the Piazza Grande, the city’s iconic venue and enduring symbol of free cinema, after last year’s inevitable cancellation of the physical event led to a re-invented edition in an unprecedented hybrid format.

Beckett stills and poster

The 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place from 4 to 14 August 2021. The Festival team is currently working, in full compliance with official health and sanitary guidelines, towards a physical event in 2021. Should those same guidelines so require, however, the Festival reserves the option to make organizational changes which will be announced to the media and the general public in due course.

Beckett, like all Piazza Grande films – with the exception of short films and films in the Histoire(s) du cinéma and Retrospettiva sections –, will participate in the Prix du public UBS 2021, the Locarno Film Festival prize awarded by the largest jury imaginable. Since 1994, it is the Festival's audience that chooses the winning title: the thousands of spectators on the Piazza who, every evening, can vote for their favorite film thanks to the official Festival App (available for download from mid-July). Among the winners of the past editions, which has since 2000 supported by UBS, are: Smoke by Wayne Wang, Death at a Funeral by Frank Oz, I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach and BlaKkKlansman by Spike Le