News  ·  10 | 07 | 2024

Mélanie Laurent and Guillaume Canet to Receive Excellence Award Davide Campari at Locarno77

Celebrated French stars Mélanie Laurent and actor-director Guillaume Canet join the long list of major recipients of the Excellence Award Davide Campari, a signature prize at the Locarno Film Festival dedicated to actors with extraordinary careers. The award will be given before the opening film of Locarno77 – Le Déluge by Gianluca Jodice – which stars Laurent and Canet.

The stars will shine bright at Locarno77: Mélanie Laurent and Guillaume Canet, two major stars of French cinema known for their range and their eclectic filmographies, will be the joint recipients of the Excellence Award Davide Campari. Canet has moved freely between directing and writing over a long and varied career featuring more than 100 films, moving from popular comedies to works by auteurs like Andrzej Żuławski, Cédric Kahn, and Jerry Schatzberg. His own films have found acclaim at various international festivals and for his critically admired thriller Ne le dis à personne (Tell No One, 2007), he won the César for Best Director. In the recent Astérix et Obélix: l'Empire du Milieu (2023), he also, in addition to his directing duties, memorably played Astérix, as well as playing the lead role in Stéphane Brisé’s romantic drama Hors-saison (2023), which premiered in Venice competition. 

Mélanie Laurent got her start in French cinema in 2006, starring in a series of well-praised French dramas including Je vais bien, ne t'en fais pas (2006) by Philippe Lioret, for which she won the César for Most Promising Actress. A few years later, at age 26, she was cast by Quentin Tarantino as Shoshanna Dreyfuss in his blockbuster revisionist war film Inglorious Basterds (2009), an entry point into American mainstream cinema that led directly to memorable appearances in such films as Now You See Me (Louis Leterrier, 2013) and 6 Underground (Michael Bay, 2019). In parallel, Laurent has become both one of the true stars of French cinema as well as a significant director in her own right. Among other accolades, Laurent’s documentary Demain (2015) was a massive success in France, taking home the César for Best Documentary, confirming a promise that had started when her short De moins en moins (2008) was a contender for the Palme d’Or for Short Films at the Cannes Film Festival, even before Inglorious Basterds. Last year, in 2023, Laurent’s excellent heist film Voleuses (Wingwomen) was one of the year’s gems and was distributed by Netflix.  

Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director: “Mélanie Laurent and Guillaume Canet have forged personal and identifiable acting paths for themselves over the years. Working in the service of a French and European tradition of an auteur cinema that often intersects with the reasons of a cultured popular cinema, the two performers have shown extraordinary sensitivity in the composition of their roles thus giving rise to artistic, personal trajectories that are appreciated by audiences. Mélanie Laurent and Guillaume Canet had already met professionally and now, Le Déluge, our opening film directed by Gianluca Jodice, allows us to find them in the guise of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI. Two absolutely superb performances that we wanted to celebrate, thus honoring both of their paths, with our Excellence Award Davide Campari.” 

The Tribute Program 

The 2024 Excellence Award Davide Campari will be given on the evening of Wednesday, August 7 at Piazza Grande. On Thursday, August 8 at 10:30 am at the Forum @Spazio Cinema, Laurent and Canet will both participate in a public conversation with the Festival audience. 

Excellence Award Davide Campari

The Excellence Award, supported since 2021 by Campari, lists among its laureates in recent years a line-up of outstanding film personalities, with names of the caliber of Susan Sarandon, John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Michel Piccoli, Anjelica Huston, Carmen Maura, Isabelle Huppert, Gael García Bernal, Charlotte Rampling, Giancarlo Giannini, Edward Norton, Bill Pullman, Mathieu Kassovitz, Ethan Hawke, Song Kang-Ho, Laetitia Casta, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and, in 2023, Riz Ahmed. 

The award is dedicated to Davide Campari, one of the first to understand the power and duty of cinema to challenge the limits of creativity. Davide Campari promoted art, culture and creativity and ignited the passion of artists and filmmakers all over the world. 


Mélanie Laurent is a French actress, screenwriter, director, and environmental activist. The recipient of 2 Cesars, Laurent has established herself as an actress in the film industry and has been part of over 50 movies.  
She made her Hollywood debut in 2009 with the starring role of Shosanna Dreyfus in Quentin Tarantino's blockbuster war film Inglorious Basterds. She has since gone on to work with an elite group of filmmakers in independent movies including Mike Mills, Denis Villeneuve, Jacques Audiard, Bille August, Tran Anh Hung, Angelina Jolie, Alexandre Aja. She also took part in blockbuster movies such as Now you see Me, Michael Bay Six underground or Murder Mystery. She made her feature directorial debut in 2011 with the adopted, following up with the critically acclaimed Breathe selected in Cannes festival. Her first English language feature Galveston starring Elle Fanning and Ben Foster is released in 2018. In 2021 she released The mad women's ball, released on Prime, the movie talks about women locked in psychiatric hospital in the 19th century. Her last movie Wingwomen released on Netflix in 2023 reached 40 millions views. 
In parallel to her artistic career she got involved very soon in the environment cause. First with Greenpeace, then became a voice of the climate justice campaign alongside Kofi Anan. In 2013 she started exploring the world with Cyril Dion, to try to find alternative, ecologic solutions. This will become the documentary Demain released in 2015 all over the world, César for best documentary and was projected in Cop 21 and at the UN.  


Guillaume Canet is a French actor, director and screenwriter. His acting career began in the 90s, when he appeared in films by Philippe Haïm (Barracuda, 1997), Pierre Jolivet (En Plein Coeur, 1998) and Rémy Waterhouse (Je règle mon pas sur le pas de mon père, 1998). 
His role in Danny Boyle's The Beach, in which he starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, opened the door to an international career. 
In addition to starring in about fifty films, Guillaume Canet has also made a name for himself as a director. He stepped behind the camera for the first time in 2002 with Mon idole, and then repeated the experience with Ne le dis à personne (2006) – which won four Césars including Best Director – followed by Les Petits Mouchoirs (2010), which proved a big hit with audiences. 
As an actor, Guillaume Canet has appeared in a number of films that tackle important human, social and environmental issues, such as the absurdity of war (Joyeux Noël by Christian Carion, 2005), the issue of over-indebtedness among the working classes (Une vie meilleure by Cédric Kahn, 2011), friendship, illness and resilience (Nous finirons ensemble, directed by himself, 2019), the pressures faced by farmers (Au nom de la terre by Édouard Bergeon, 2019) or, more recently, climate catastrophes linked to air pollution (Acide by Just Philippot, 2023).