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The Locarno Film Festival will pay tribute to Kelly Reichardt, one of the most original and independent voices in contemporary American filmmaking. Reichardt will receive the Pardo d’onore Manor award on the evening of Friday 12 August in Piazza Grande. On Saturday 13 August at the Spazio Cinema she will be at the center of a panel conversation with the audience, who will also have a chance to see two stand-out titles from her career during Locarno75: Meek's Cutoff (2010) and Night Moves (2013).
With First Cow (2019), the opening film at Locarno 2020, Kelly Reichardt’s cinema secured her definitive place as one of the most exciting formal and poetic innovators in U.S. filmmaking, an auteur who casts new light on America and its stories. Her films are characterized by intense research on realism and hallmarked by proudly independent creative and production processes. Rewriting the codes of popular genres – thriller, western, road movie – has allowed Reichardt to shift her gaze to new, previously marginalized standpoints that reveal her unusual approach, bringing to the fore topical, urgent issues such as female empowerment and the ecological crisis. The Locarno Film Festival celebrates this innovative figure with the award of the Pardo d’onore Manor given each year to an outstanding personality in filmmaking of all eras.
Giona A. Nazzaro, artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival: “We regard the Festival’s 75th anniversary not just as a moment when we look back over the years, but also as an opportunity to imagine the future. The decision to pay tribute to Kelly Reichardt, a benchmark for contemporary cinema that is alive and constantly developing, reflects our desire to look ahead, embracing diversity and change. As an expression of U.S. cinema’s inexhaustible capacity for reinventing itself, Kelly Reichardt is perhaps the most exciting filmmaker working today.”
Marking the occasion of the award for Reichardt on the evening of 12 August, two of her films will be shown during the Festival (3-13 August):
On Saturday 13 August, Reichardt will also meet the Festival audience during a panel conversation to be held at the Spazio Cinema.
The Locarno Film Festival’s Pard d’onore has been awarded to cineastes such as Manoel de Oliveira, Bernardo Bertolucci, Ken Loach, Jean-Luc Godard, Werner Herzog, Agnès Varda, Michael Cimino, Marco Bellocchio, John Waters and, in 2021, John Landis. Since 2017, the Pardo d’onore has been supported by Manor, a Main Partner of the Locarno Film Festival.
Born in Miami, Florida, Kelly Reichardt is an independent screenwriter and director. After her first full-length feature, the noir River of Grass (1994), presented at Sundance and the Berlinale, she worked for several years on short films, returning to the full-length format in 2006 with Old Joy, based on a story by U.S. writer Jonathan Raymond. Also presented at Sundance, it became the first American entry to win the Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Her next picture, Wendy and Lucy (2008), was presented in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes the same year and marked the beginning of a collaboration with actress Michelle Williams that would continue over three further films. The western Meek's Cutoff was in competition at Venice in 2010, as was Night Moves in 2013. Certain Women (2016), adapted from three short stories by Maile Meloy, won the prize for best film at the BFI London Film Festival in 2016. Reichardt’s most recent films are First Cow, a competition entry at the Berlinale in 2020, and Showing Up (2022). Retrospectives on her work have been held at institutions such as MoMA, Anthology Film Archives, Pacific Film Archive, Museum of the Moving Image, Walker Art Center, American Cinematheque Los Angeles, European Touring Retrospective and the Centre Pompidou.