News from the Locarno Festival

Mike Medavoy

Mike Medavoy


© Brigitte Lacombe


The Raimondo Rezzonico Prize for Best Independent Producer will be awarded to American producer Mike Medavoy, on Tuesday August 9 at 21:30 on the Piazza Grande. The following day, Wednesday August 10, at 10:30 in the Spazio Cinema (Forum), Jay Weissberg will moderate a discussion with the producer.

The following films will be screened in honour of Mike Medavoy:

APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX by Francis Ford Coppola
United States – 1979-2001 – 202 min

United States/UK – 1990 – 181 min

United States – 1975 – 133 min

SHUTTER ISLAND by Martin Scorsese
United States – 2010 – 138 min

Working in the film industry for almost forty years, and producing over three hundred films, Mike Medavoy is one of the great visionaries of American cinema. By turns an agent (for Steven Spielberg, John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola, Terrence Malick, Monte Hellman, Brian De Palma, George Lucas, among others), studio head for United Artists, Orion, Tri-Star Pictures and finally producer in his own right (through his own company Phoenix Pictures), he has discovered and promoted the New Hollywood filmmakers and their successors from the late 1960s to the present day.

Above all Medavoy has always managed to remain faithful to a particular notion of cinema, attracted to strong filmmakers and auteurs with strong personalities rather than blockbuster directors. His name is linked to numerous major films in contemporary American cinema: Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), John G. Avildsen’s Rocky (1976), Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (1977), Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979), James Cameron’s Terminator (1984), Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves (1990), Oliver Stone’s Platoon (1986), Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Terrence Malick’s The Red Line (1998)…

These high standards caused him problems in the 1990s, a decade in which formula films ruled the Hollywood roost, along with sequels and productions aimed at the teen demographic. Throughout his career, Mike Medavoy has maintained the energy and courage to produce bold and surprising films, and then seen the reward in terms of both their artistic and commercial success: witness his latest production, the magnificent Black Swan by Darren Aronofsky (2010).

Olivier Père

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