Press Releases

Pardo d’onore Swisscom goes to Abel Ferrara

At the forthcoming edition of the Festival del film Locarno, American director Abel Ferrara will receive the Pardo d’onore Swisscom, the prize for career achievement awarded every year to a contemporary director for an outstanding body of work.

The award ceremony will take place on Friday August 5, at 9.30 pm on the Piazza Grande, when Abel Ferrara will introduce, for the occasion, an exclusive preview of extracts from his latest film, still in production, 4:44 Last Day on Earth, starring Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh and co-produced by Fabula, Funny Balloons and Wild Bunch.

The following day, Saturday August 6, the Festival audience will have an opportunity to attend a masterclass given by Abel Ferrara.

For this career award Locarno will screen a selection of the major films by this New York director, Ms. 45 (1981), King of New York (1990), Bad Lieutenant, (1992) and Mary (2005).

Olivier Père, Artistic Director of the Festival, comments that he is «proud to welcome Abel Ferrara to Locarno, a maestro with the soul of a rock rebel and a distinctive spirituality, whose focus on suffering is reflected in his films. From Ms. 45 to King of New York, as well as Bad Lieutenant and The Blackout, most of Abel Ferrara’s major works deal with sin and redemption, love and violence, and the conflict between faith and behaviour within the individual».

For the past 23 years, the Festival del film Locarno’s Pardo d’onore has paid tribute to major filmmakers in contemporary cinema, including directors of the stature of Manoel de Oliveira, Bernardo Bertolucci, Ken Loach, Jean-Luc Godard, Abbas Kiarostami, Wim Wenders, Alexander Sokurov, Hou Hsiao-hsien, William Friedkin and, in 2010, Alain Tanner and JIA Zhang-ke.

Swisscom, the Festival del film Locarno’s main sponsor since 1998, is supporting the Pardo d’onore for the third consecutive year.

A text on Abel Ferrara is available on Olivier Père’s blog.

The 64th Festival del film Locarno will be held from August 3 to 13, 2011.