Press Releases  ·  21 | 06 | 2022

Locarno75: Matt Dillon to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award, the Locarno Film Festival's tribute to film personalities with extraordinary careers, will be given to U.S. actor Matt Dillon.

The award ceremony on Thursday, August 4 in Piazza Grande will be accompanied by screenings of Drugstore Cowboy (Gus Van Sant, 1989) and City of Ghosts (Matt Dillon, 2002), and a Q&A with the audience on Friday, August 5 at the Forum @Spazio Cinema.

Matt Dillon ©Photo by Tom Munro

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From his debut at age 14 in the cult classic Over the Edge (Jonathan Kaplan, 1979), Matt Dillon has been able to navigate numerous cinematic territories, thanks to encounters with the likes of Francis Ford Coppola – that gave us The Outsiders (1983), Rumble Fish (1983) –, to genre films that have become true cult classics – Wild Things (John McNaughton, 1998), There's Something About Mary (Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, 1998) –, up to forays into European auteur cinema – Lars von Trier's The House That Jack Built (2018), Yorgos Lanthimos' Nimic (2019). The Locarno Film Festival decided to award the Lifetime Achievement Award, the prize dedicated to extraordinary film careers, to the actor whose unique journey as an artist always led in the direction of freedom and curiosity.

Giona A. Nazzaro, artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival: "Matt Dillon embodies with supreme freedom an idea of the American artist and cinema that we deeply love. The restlessness of youth and the freedom of maturity. A performer who has built lasting, transgenerational success without ever shying away from exploring new challenges and languages. An astounding actor and director, Dillon represents the best of an idea of American cinema born in the 1970s while celebrating the courage of unconventional choices. We are honored to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Locarno Film Festival with him."

The tribute program

On the occasion of the award, presented to Matt Dillon on the evening of Thursday, August 4 on the Piazza Grande, two titles revealing the eclecticism of the actor and director will be shown in the following days: 

Drugstore Cowboy, Gus Van Sant – United States – 1989 – presented in the section Histoire(s) du cinéma

City of Ghosts, Matt Dillon – United States – 2002 – presented in the section Histoire(s) du cinéma

Also on Friday, August 5, Matt Dillon will meet the Festival audience during a conversation to be held at the Forum @Spazio Cinema.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2011. In past years it has been presented to film legends such as Harrison Ford (2011), Alain Delon (2012), Jacqueline Bisset (2013), Harvey Keitel (2016) and, in 2021, Dario Argento.

Matt Dillon - Biography

The film career of Matt Dillon (New Rochelle, New York, 1964) has spanned more than three decades. From Francis Ford Coppola's films The Outsiders and Rumble Fish, to his collaboration with Gus Van Sant on Drugstore Cowboy, for which he won an Independent Spirit Award in 1990, and To Die For (1995), which he screened with the director in Locarno in 1995, his path has been punctuated by titles such as Singles (Cameron Crowe, 1992), Crash (Paul Haggis, 2004), for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and won his second Independent Spirit Award, but also Factotum (Bent Hamer, 2005), The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018) and the short film Nimic (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2019), which was presented at Locarno72. In 2002 he made his directorial debut with City of Ghosts (2002), written with Barry Gifford, in which he starred opposite James Caan, Gérard Depardieu, Stellan Skarsgård, and Natascha McElhone. In 2014 he starred in Chad Hodge's television series Wayward Pines (2015-2016) with M. Night Shyamalan among the executive producers, while soon to be released is the Apple series High Desert, directed by Jay Roach, which features him opposite Patricia Arquette. Dillon also recently completed his second feature film as director with El Gran Fellove (2020), a music documentary about legendary Cuban singer Francisco Fellove.

He has been a board member of Refugees International since 2008 and has participated in missions to Myanmar, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, making short documentaries to raise awareness of the plight of refugees and internally displaced people due to conflict and climate change. Dillon comes from a family of artists and is himself a painter. His works have been exhibited in New York, Rome and Berlin.