Piazza Grande

Prix du Public UBS 2017 winner – "The Big Sick" by Michael Showalter

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The winner of Prix du Public 2016 "I, Daniel Blake" by Ken Loach

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© JOSS BARRATT - SIXTEEN FILMS

"Jason Bourne" by Paul Greengrass

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Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s “Lucy”, the 2014 opening film.

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The winner of the Prix du Public UBS in 2011: “Monsieur Lazhar”, directed by Philippe Falardeau. In the image the young actor Émilien Néron.

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Gael García Bernal in “No”, a film by Pablo Larraín, screened in Piazza Grande in 2012.

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The blockbuster “Super 8” by the American director J. J. Abrams opens the Festival 2011.

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An in-depth look at the world of bee colonies, “More Than Honey”, the film directed by the Swiss director Markus Imhoof, was premiered in Piazza Grande in 2012.

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8,000 viewers a night, the Piazza Grande is both the Festival’s heart and its showcase. With its giant screen, one of the biggest in Europe, endowed with truly exceptional projection quality, the Piazza Grande is one of the finest open-air venues in the world. This magnificent and unique setting is where every night all the many and diverse festival audiences come together for a big cinematic event. The programming on the Piazza Grande offers prestigious screenings, most of them world, international or European premieres, introduced by the director and the cast.

The Piazza Grande audience also serves as the biggest jury on the planet, voting for the renowned “Prix du Public UBS” (Audience Award). In addition, there is the Variety Piazza Grande Award, chosen by a panel of film critics, and intended to assist the international career of a film in the selection.

Awards

Prix du Public UBS

The official jury is not the only one to hand out prizes at the Festival. Every night, the audience in Piazza Grande is on jury service, voting to decide the winner of the “Prix du Public UBS”.

The film that receives the most audience votes will win the “Prix du Public UBS” worth 30,000 CHF. The winner will receive the prize during the official awards ceremony.

For more than 10 years UBS has been honored to award an annual prize for filmmaking on behalf of the Festival audience. Previous winners of the “Prix du Public UBS” have included films such as Bend It Like BeckhamThe Syrian Bride, Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) and Monsieur Lazhar.

Variety Piazza Grande Award

The Variety Piazza Grande Award is awarded by a jury of several of the American paper’s critics who will attend Locarno. It will go to a film screened in the Piazza Grande programme as a world or international première. The prize will recognise a film that stands out for both its artistic qualities and its potential for theatrical release. This award is intended to assist the international career of a film in selection thanks to Variety’s connections with the film industry and its authority within the sector.

Swatch First Feature Awards

Swatch support the prizes awarded by a jury of international film critics to the two best first feature films, as world or international premieres, selected for all sections of the Festival, except for the indipendent sections Semaine de la critique and Panorama Suisse: 

  • Swatch First Feature Award, in the value of 15’000 CHF to be shared equally between the director and the producer awarded to the best first film.
  • The Swatch Art Peace Hotel Award: a special mention, with a 3 to 6 month residency in the Shanghai hotel of the same name.
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