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Among the world premiere screenings celebrating 50 years of the Piazza Grande will be the eagerly awaited new feature by award-winning animation director Alessandro Rak, Yaya e Lennie – The Walking Liberty, slated for 12 August. A great moment of art and imagination to reflect on pressing environmental issues and the values that underpin our society – and a re-start for Piazza Grande as a place for collective sharing of experiences and ideas.
"A hymn to freedom”, declares Alessandro Rak. “Because freedom is the premise of every healthy choice of love bond as well as the only path that does not lead to the obvious and the inexorable. A hymn to the walk, the trip, the landscape, which are the breath of every healthy thought. A hymn to green, which is life and hope". With his new film Yaya e Lennie – The Walking Liberty director Alessandro Rak will bring to the Locarno Film Festival his poetic and courageous imagery, which has established him as one of the most innovative talents in contemporary animated cinema, thanks to films like L’arte della felicità (2013), which won the prestigious Best Eruopean Animated Film award at the 2014 European Film Awards and Gatta Cenerentola (Cinderella the Cat, 2017), winner of two David di Donatello awards.
Many of the images of Yaya e Lennie – The Walking Liberty will resonate with experiences around the world over the past two years: Yaya and Lennie are the protagonists that move in an apocalyptic future in which the city of Naples and the entire world have been engulfed by impenetrable forest, in the aftermath of a series of ecological disasters. In that new world jungle, the film’s story of two young people asks us to reflect on the values on which a (new) civilization must be based. The film is produced by Mad Entertainment in collaboration with Rai Cinema and will be released by Nexo Digital.
Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival, Giona A. Nazzaro: “A post-apocalyptic and ecological sci-fi epic: a kind of cross between Mad Max and Blues Metropolitano, confirming the visionary creative talent of Alessandro Rak. An innovative, poetic film, emotionally charged, with Charlie Chaplin and John Steinbeck as its spiritual guides. A profoundly humanist vision, perfectly in tune with urgent environmental issues. Above all, a film that can already be celebrated as a crucial, giant step forward in animated filmmaking, and not just for Italy.”
This 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival marks 50 years (1971-2021) of the Piazza Grande, long established as the iconic core venue and irreplaceable symbol of the event. Movies return to the Piazza Grande, re-asserting the impact of the huge open-air screen in a venue which this year will have a nightly capacity of 5,000.
The 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place from 4 to 14 August 2021. The Festival team is currently working, in full compliance with official health and sanitary guidelines, towards a physical event in 2021. Should those same guidelines so require, however, the Festival reserves the option to make organizational changes which will be announced to the media and the general public in due course.
Yaya e Lennie - The Walking Liberty, like all Piazza Grande films – with the exception of short films and films in the Histoire(s) du cinéma and Retrospettiva sections –, will participate in the Prix du public UBS 2021, the Locarno Film Festival prize awarded by the largest jury imaginable. Since 1994, it is the Festival's audience that chooses the winning title: the thousands of spectators on the Piazza who, every evening, can vote for their favorite film thanks to the official Festival App (available for download from mid-July). Among the winners of the past editions, which has since 2000 supported by UBS, are: Smoke by Wayne Wang, Death at a Funeral by Frank Oz, I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach and BlaKkKlansman by Spike Lee.