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Bruno Dumont is to receive the Pardo d’onore Manor award at the 71st Locarno Festival. The French filmmaker will be a guest in Piazza Grande on Saturday 4 August for the world premiere of the miniseries Coincoin et les z'inhumains.
Born in Bailleul in the French part of Flanders in 1958, Bruno Dumont is one of the most original directors on the international scene today. Many of his films have proved controversial during a career stretching back over two decades, in which he has focused his rigorous, austere and uncompromising gaze on the mystery that lies within the reality of daily life, meticulously exploring the question of the existence of evil and the banal forms it can take.
Dumont made his directing debut at the age of 38 with his first full-length feature, La vie de Jésus (1997), shot in his own native city of Bailleul. It was an immediate success, bringing him a César nomination for best first film and also a special mention in the Caméra d’or section at Cannes, where it was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight. Dumont carried on his highly personal cinematic research in his second full-length feature L’Humanité (1999), which won the Grand Prix at Cannes.
In 2003 Dumont moved away from locations in Northern France for the first time to make his third film Twentynine Palms (2003), set in California. He returned to France to make Flandres (2006), which brought him his second Grand Prix at Cannes. Mystery is central to Dumont’s idea of cinema: in Hadewijch (2009) and Hors Satan (2011) he once again explored the sacred through the everyday. In 2012 Dumont made Camille Claudel 1915, on aspects of the life of the noted French sculptress, with Juliette Binoche in the title role. The film was presented at the Berlinale in 2013.
Dumont began working for television with the series P’tit Quinquin (2014), which aired on ARTE. The move also brought humor into Dumont’s filmic world for the first time, a shift in genre which he repeated in his next feature film Ma Loute (2016), a blend of comedy and drama shown in competition at Cannes in 2016. The next change of tone was even more extreme, as the filmmaker tackled the challenge of a rock musical with Jeannette, l’enfance de Jeanne d’Arc (2017), based on a play by Charles Péguy. During the 71st Locarno Festival Dumont will be presenting his new miniseries Coincoin et les z'inhumains, due for theatrical release in Switzerland and screening on ARTE in September.
Carlo Chatrian, Artistic Director of the Locarno Festival: “Bruno Dumont is one of those directors who best typify 21st century cinema. His films are deeply rooted in philosophical, literary and film tradition and yet are forward-looking at the same time; they are the best possible riposte to those who claim that the cinema has nothing left to discover. His films are essays on men and women, on the absurdity intrinsic to existence, but also on the eternal problem of evil. They are also exhortations not to cease thinking about such issues, even when the noise from the images all around us becomes deafening. Dumont’s presence in Locarno will provide an opportunity to look back over some of the stages in his remarkable career and also, first and foremost, to discover the sequel to the series which took the Directors’ Fortnight by storm four years ago. I can’t think of a better way for miniseries to make their Piazza Grande debut than with this offering that combines slapstick comedy with a political message.”
Bruno Dumont will receive the Pardo d’onore Manor award in Piazza Grande on the evening of 4 August. The Festival tribute will also include screenings of several titles in his filmography to date. On Sunday 5 August the Festival audience will also be able to see the filmmaker in a panel discussion at the Spazio Cinema.
Recipients of the Pardo d’onore award at past Festivals include Samuel Fuller, Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Loach, Sydney Pollack, William Friedkin, Jia Zhang-ke, Alain Tanner, Werner Herzog, Agnès Varda, Michael Cimino, Marco Bellocchio, Alejandro Jodorowsky and, in 2017, Jean-Marie Straub and Todd Haynes. The Pardo d’onore is supported by Swiss department store chain Manor.
The 71st Locarno Festival will take place from 1 to 11 August 2018.