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Luc Jacquet’s gaze has followed the perspective of the plant and animal kingdoms through his many voyages to the Antarctic or into forests both remote and close to home. He has made the big screen a window that opens onto the true mysteries of nature. Attracted by seemingly impossible challenges, the French biologist and filmmaker has made both nature documentaries – La Marche de L’Empereur (March of the Penguins), watched by more than 25 million people worldwide, Il était une forêt (Once Upon a Forest, 2013) La Glace et le ciel (Ice and the Sky, 2015), L’Empereur (March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step, 2017) – plus one fiction feature, Le Renard et l'enfant (The Fox & the Child, 2007), and for over twenty years has been constantly engaged in an effort to raise collective awareness about the need to protect our planet and its species.
The Locarno Kids Award la Mobiliare is a Locarno Film Festival prize awarded to a personality who has brought younger viewers to the cinema, giving them a sense of discovery about the big screen. This year it goes to a filmmaker who has consistently and successfully conveyed a powerful ecological message to younger generations of cinema lovers.
Giona A. Nazzaro, artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival: “Luc Jacquet is a director who has masterfully woven together the magical charm of observation and the pure poetry of storytelling, taking our gaze to dimensions of the planet never before explored. By turning documentary into epic but intimate adventures he has drawn new generations of viewers into the magic of motion picture storytelling and at the same time engaged them on behalf of protecting life in all its forms.”
In addition to the award ceremony on Monday 7 August in Piazza Grande, the tribute to Jacquet will include screenings at Locarno76 of La Marche de L’Empereur (March of the Penguins). Jacquet will meet with the Festival audience in a panel conversation at the Forum @Spazio Cinema scheduled for Tuesday 8 August at 1:30 pm, and will also join in person in another moment of sharing and exchange especially for younger festivalgoers.
The Locarno Kids Award la Mobiliare was created in 2021 and in previous editions went to Mamoru Hosoda (2021) and Gitanjali Rao (2022).
Thanks to a winter expedition in the Antarctic, Luc Jacquet discovers his two main passions: filmmaking and using media to bring scientific knowledge to the widest possible audience. His first full-length feature, La Marche de l'empereur (March of the Penguins), was seen by more than 25 million people worldwide and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film in 2006. Wild-Touch, the association he founded in 2010, aims to reconnect humankind with nature through images and emotions and does so by including his films Il était une forêt (Once Upon a Forest) and La Glace et le ciel (Ice and the Sky) in awareness-raising programs. In 2017 he returns to Antarctica for a new expedition, taking with him wildlife photographer Vincent Munier and diver Laurent Ballesta. Back in Europe, their work is channeled into a new film, L’Empereur (March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step) and the immersive exhibition Antarctica at the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, France. His new film, Continent Magnétique, will be in theaters soon.
The 76th Locarno Film Festival will take place from 2 to 12 August 2023.