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American producer and executive David Linde will receive the Premio Raimondo Rezzonico at the upcoming 2016 Festival del film Locarno, an award known as a key industry tribute dedicated to the world’s most significant independent film producers. Previous award recipients include Arnon Milchan, Mike Medavoy, Christine Vachon and Margaret Ménégoz. Linde’s remarkable contributions to the making of dozens of international successes in his capacity as a production, acquisition and distribution executive, has made him one of America’s top industry players. Over the course of an impressive career spanning almost three decades of filmmaking, Linde’s influence of both the American and international film culture is precisely what Locarno is looking forward to celebrating in August on the Piazza Grande during the award ceremony.
A long trajectory that dates back to his first major position at Miramax Films and Miramax Films International, Linde oversaw the acquisition of several internationally renowned films such as Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures, Woody Allen's Bullets over Broadway, and international distribution for Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction and Anthony Minghella's multi-Oscar-winner The English Patient.
After Miramax, Linde was partner of production company Good Machine, which Universal acquired to become the specialty film studio Focus Features that Linde ran with co-president James Schamus. During his time at Focus, Linde and Schamus produced a varied slate of films including Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful, Happiness by Todd Solondz, Roman Polanski's The Pianist and Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, racking up a total of 53 Oscar nominations resulting in 11 Academy Awards.
He continued his career as chairman of Universal Pictures, during which time he oversaw the production and distribution of a wide range of international hits, as well as the formation of animation powerhouse Illumination Entertainment. During this period he was also a board member of NBC Universal, presiding over the NBC Universal Diversity Council.
Linde is currently CEO of Participant Media, a global company dedicated to media that inspires social change. The company’s 2016 film slate includes Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon (Lionsgate); J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls (Focus Features); Pablo Larrain’s Neruda; Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans (DreamWorks Pictures/Disney); Denial starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, and Timothy Spall (Bleecker Street); Middle School, based on James Patterson’s best-seller series (CBS Films); Ric Roman Waugh’s Shot Caller; Alex Gibney’s Zero Days (Magnolia Pictures); Morgan Neville’s The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble (The Orchard) and Presenting Princess Shaw (Magnolia Pictures). In addition to narrative films and documentaries, Participant has launched more than a dozen original series for its television network Pivot, as well as creating content daily for the digital hub TakePart, which serves millions of socially conscious consumers monthly.
Prior to joining Participant, Linde most recently led Lava Bear Films, a production and financing company he founded with the support of Reliance Entertainment.
Carlo Chatrian, the Festival's Artistic Director comments: “David Linde's eclectic career and take on film is a perfect fit for the spirit of exploration that drives the Locarno Festival. In all his ventures, whether working with the majors or independent production companies, Linde has established himself as having a keen eye for the most original voices in cinema, and as producer or buyer has supported them in straddling linguistic and cultural borders. The Award we are giving him is both a recognition for his work and an encouragement to continue along the same path, because cinema, today more than ever, needs people like him, people who are able to bring disparate worlds together, giving unique stories the universality that cinema can offer”.
The Premio Raimondo Rezzonico was established in 2002, in memory of the man who was the Festival's President for almost twenty years. This annual Award, funded by the Comune of Minusio, goes to an outstanding major independent film producer, thus training a well-deserved spotlight on a key figure in the film world, as a tribute to their courage and audacity in taking risks and supporting filmmakers. Previous recipients of the Raimondo Rezzonico Award include Paulo Branco, Ruth Waldburger, the collective Agat Films & Cie, Martine Marignac, Menahem Golan, Margaret Ménégoz, Nansun SHI and, in 2015, Office Kitano.