The Leopard Club Award 2016 goes to Stefania Sandrelli

© Photo by Marco Rossi – Courtesy S. Ferragina

The 69th edition of the Festival del film Locarno will pay tribute to the dearly beloved Italian actress Stefania Sandrelli who this year celebrates her 55 years' career and her “70th springtime”. She will receive the Leopard Club Award 2016 on the Piazza Grande, on Friday, August 5.

A key player in the great era of Italian cinema, and elsewhere, Stefania Sandrelli has worked alongside Ugo Tognazzi, Marcello Mastroianni, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Robert De Niro, Vittorio Gassman, Gérard Depardieu and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Following her irruption onto cinema screens at the young age of 15, in Pietro Germi's Divorce Italian Style (1961) she went on to perform in a wide variety of roles, from lover (Seduced and Abandoned, 1964 and 1900, 1976), to woman in a love triangle (We All Loved Each Other So Much, 1974), to witch (Brancaleone at the Crusades, 1970). Her incarnations of the many faces of woman include her performances in Ettore Scola's La terrazza and The Dinner, Ferzan Özpetek's A Perfect Day, Francesca Archibugi's Questione di cuore and in more recent years, Paolo Virzì's The First Beautiful Thing and Carlo Mazzacurati's The Passion.

At her ease in auteur and popular cinema, tragedy and comedy, Sandrelli has lent her talents to such great directors as Mario Monicelli, Ettore Scola, Pietro Germi, Carlo Lizzani, Margarethe von Trotta, Bernardo Bertolucci, Claude Chabrol and Manoel de Oliveira. Regardless of the film world she moved in, and colleagues with whom she worked, Stefania Sandrelli is best described simply for what she is and always has been, a woman and an actress of unique grace and sensuality, tempered by an abiding touch of irony. A truly popular diva, in every sense of the word.

“Stefania Sandrelli is one of those actresses who proved best able to tune in to the major innovations in cinema from the 1960s onwards. Fully aware of the seductive powers of her body and voice, able to range from innocence to malice, Sandrelli has not only brought to life a gallery of unforgettable characters, but has also embodied the model of a woman who, without breaking with the past, is perfectly capable of meeting the challenges of modernity. She is one of the few actresses to succeed in getting it exactly right whether in terms of appealing to the popular imagination or dealing with the demanding worlds of auteurs such as Bertolucci, Scola and de Oliveira. In celebrating her career the Locarno Festival pays tribute to a major artist  who has been able to span different eras and kinds of filmmaking whilst always remaining true to herself.”  Carlo Chatrian, Artistic Director of the Festival.

Locarno's tribute to Stefania Sandrelli will be accompanied by a screening of Bertolucci's The Conformist and an 'In Conversation with the Festival audience. The actress will receive the Festival's Award on the Piazza on Friday, August 5.

Named after the supporting Association of the Festival, the Leopard Club Award pays tribute to someone in film whose work has left a mark on the collective imagination. Previous recipients of the Leopard Club Award include Faye Dunaway (2013), Mia Farrow (2014) and Andy Garcia (2015).

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