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The Best Independent Producer Award 2018 “Premio Raimondo Rezzonico”, the Locarno Festival award dedicated to those involved in independent international production, will go to the US producer Ted Hope. He, who has been able to credit the history of independent cinema, bringing new and unexpected voices into the spotlight, will receive the award in Piazza Grande on Thursday, August 2. On Friday August 3, at 10.30 am, the Festival public will have the chance to attend a conversation with the creator at the Spazio Cinema.
Born in the United States in 1962, Ted Hope came early to the world of cinema and in 1990 founded the production company Good Machine in New York, together with James Schamus. These were the years in which Hope produced the first films by Ang Lee: Pushing Hands (1992), The Wedding Banquet (1993) and Eat Drink Man Woman (1994), the last ones both nominated at the Academy Awards, followed by The Ice Storm (1997), screened at Locarno in Piazza Grande. During the same period, Happiness (1998), directed by Tod Solondz, was presented at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and winner of the international critics' award, Ride with the Devil (1999) and In the Bedroom (2001), which won numerous awards, including five Academy Awards nominations and a Golden Globe. Three of his productions also won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival: What Happened Was... (1994), The Brothers McMullen (1995), and American Splendor (2003). The latter, based on the life of the cartoonist Harvey Pekar, won numerous awards, including the International Critics' Award at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar.
In 2015 Hope was called upon by Amazon to take care of the production of feature films. At the head of the creative team at Amazon Studios, he is responsible for the films produced, developed and acquired by the company, managing to combine his taste for independent cinema with the needs of a large distribution giant. The most prestigious results are Manchester by the Sea (2016), which won an Oscar for its leading actor in 2017, and The Big Sick (2017), which won the Prix du Public UBS in Piazza Grande last year. In his first year at Amazon Studios, the Amazon team distributed 14 films, winning 335 nominations and 131 awards, including 7 Academy Award nominations and 5 Golden Globe nominations.