News  ·  29 | 09 | 2023

7 Locarno Feature Films Selected for the 2023 European Film Awards

The European Film Academy announces its shortlist, including 7 Locarno feature films with 4 of them from emerging female filmmakers.

The European Film Academy has announced its shortlist for the 2023 European Film Awards, which includes a range of titles that had their world premiere at Locarno Film Festival. A total of 40 films will compete in the competition with 7 of them coming from Locarno, including Animal, Sweet Dreams and Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World.  


Emerging female filmmakers are put firmly into the spotlight. Of the seven feature films selected for the European Film Award’s, four of them (57%) are from female directors with a variety of European backgrounds, demonstrating the variety, diversity and creativity of Locarno’s offering: 

  • Greek writer-director Sofia Exarchou’s second feature, Animal, set against the backdrop of the tourism industry, puts a spotlight on the invisible labour realities of an all-inclusive holiday resort. 
  • Stepne, the debut feature from Ukraine’s Maryna Vroda, is set amidst haunting Ukrainian winter landscapes and deep-rooted feelings of alienation. Vroda won the Pardo for Best Direction in Locarno. 
  • Bosnian-Dutch director Ena Sendijarević followed up her award-winning debut with Sweet Dreams, a visually arresting satire set on a sugar plantation in colonial-era Indonesia, which also saw lead actress Renée Soutendijk win the Pardo for Best Performance. The film is also the Netherlands official Oscars submission.
  • Bosnian director Una Gunjak’s powerful debut film, Excursion, depicts the turmoil of adolescence through the eyes of a young woman. Gunjak’s film is the official Oscars submission for Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Romanian director Radu Jude, who won Locarno’s Special Jury Prize for his cinematic masterpiece Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World, which depicts Romania’s communist legacy and its neoliberal present, is also amongst the films that world premiered at Locarno Film Festival shortlisted for the European Film Awards. Jude's film is also Romania’s official submission for the 2024 Oscar awards in the Best International Feature category.  


We had options for other festivals. But Locarno is the best place because it’s a festival that admires films and not topics.

Amongst other films selected was The Vanishing Soldier, the story of a young soldier that flees fighting in the West Bank and returns to his girlfriend in Tel Aviv. “We had options for other festivals. But Locarno is the best place because it’s a festival that admires films and not topics” Israeli director Dani Rosenberg told Variety in an exclusive interview. Croatian film Safe Place from writer-director Juraj Lerotić, which has since its premiere at the Locarno Film Festival in 2022, won a total of 45 awards and recognitions at more than 60 festivals around the world.  

In addition to the selected features, four Locarno Film Festival short films have been selected, which will compete in the shorts category against 26 other titles:   


The winners will be announced at the European Film Awards ceremony in Berlin on 9 December 2023.