News  ·  23 | 06 | 2021

Alessandro Rak’s Futuristic Animation Will Celebrate the History of Piazza Grande

On August 12, the world premiere of the Italian director’s new film, Yaya e Lennie – The Walking Liberty, will honor 50 years of the Festival’s icon, the ideal stage for a collective and green musing

If there is a free space, that is Piazza Grande. And that gigantic screen, which has been part of film history for 75 years, will host the screening of Italian director Alessandro Rak’s animated film Yaya e Lennie – The Walking Liberty on August 12. A world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival, after many years of production and months of anticipation, the film is an adventure taking place in the heart of nature, in an impenetrable forest that has swallowed a large city such as Naples; the film will paint the Piazza green, a color that is very meaningful to the Festival, with a wish to tell stories that can bring attention to the topic.

"A hymn to freedom”, declares Alessandro Rak. “Because freedom is the premise of every healthy choice of love bond as well as the only path that does not lead to the obvious and the inexorable. A hymn to the walk, the trip, the landscape, which are the breath of every healthy thought. A hymn to green, which is life and hope".

Alessandro Rak will bring to the Locarno Film Festival his poetic and courageous imagery, which has established him as one of the most innovative talents in contemporary animated cinema, thanks to films like L’arte della felicità (2013), which won the prestigious Best Eruopean Animated Film award at the 2014 European Film Awards and Gatta Cenerentola (Cinderella the Cat, 2017), winner of two David di Donatello awards.

Alessandro Rak Alessandro Rak

The images of Yaya e Lennie – The Walking Liberty will resonate with the last two years of global events: Yaya and Lennie are the main characters living in an apocalyptic future, where Naples and the entire world have transformed into an impenetrable forest because of ecological disasters. In the jungle of the new world, through the story of two young people, people will reassess the values upon which to build a new civilization. The film, produced by Mad Entertainment with Rai Cinema, will be released in Italian cinemas by Nexo Digital.

Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival, Giona A. Nazzaro: “A post-apocalyptic and ecological sci-fi epic: a kind of cross between Mad Max and Blues Metropolitano, confirming the visionary creative talent of Alessandro Rak. An innovative, poetic film, emotionally charged, with Charlie Chaplin and John Steinbeck as its spiritual guides. A profoundly humanist vision, perfectly in tune with urgent environmental issues. Above all, a film that can already be celebrated as a crucial, giant step forward in animated filmmaking, and not just for Italy.” 

Celebrating 50 years of the Piazza Grande

This 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival marks 50 years (1971-2021) of the Piazza Grande, long established as the iconic core venue and irreplaceable symbol of the event. Movies return to the Piazza Grande, re-asserting the impact of the huge open-air screen in a venue which this year will have a nightly capacity of 5,000. 

Yaya e Lennie - The Walking Liberty, 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 Lee. 

The program for Piazza Grande, as for the whole of Locarno74, will be announced on 1st July. 
In the meantime accreditation can be applied for and seasonal tickets can be bought, here.