Press Releases  ·  12 | 08 | 2023

The Pardo d’oro at Locarno76 goes to Mantagheye bohrani (Critical Zone) by Iranian filmmaker Ali Ahmadzadeh, a hymn to freedom and resistance in Iran

Eleven days of cinema drew a passionate response from critics and audiences. Packed theaters, movie discoveries, shared emotions: this was Locarno76, an edition which saw the triumph of Mantagheye bohrani (Critical Zone) by Ali Ahmadzadeh, winner of the Festival’s Pardo d’oro.

©Locarno Film Festival/Ti-Press

Content language:





Photo: Sina Ataeian Dena - Film Producer of Mantagheye bohrani (Critical Zone) by Ali Ahmadzadeh


With its program of eagerly awaited premieres and film discoveries from around the globe, Locarno76 took festivalgoers on a boundless journey along the most exciting pathways of contemporary cinema. With sold out screenings and a remarkable number of young people and children watching the big screen, this was an edition hallmarked by inclusivity and accessibility, with a program that gave fresh impetus to the pivotal role of independent and auteur filmmaking.

Topping the list of prize-winners at this edition was  Mantagheye bohrani (Critical Zone) by Ali Ahmadzadeh, a film secretly shot on the streets of Teheran, without permission from the Iranian authorities. This year’s newly introduced gender-neutral acting awards went to four female actors and one male actor, whose performances lit up the Concorso internazionale and Concorso Cineasti del presente.

Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival: “This has been a thrilling edition, reasserting the centrality of the Locarno Film Festival and its ability to explore contemporary cinema in every shape and size, capturing the hearts and minds of our generous, curious and passionate public, who crowded into the Piazza Grande and theaters in great numbers. This was an excellent edition, with audiences up by 10% and a selection hailed enthusiastically by the media, cinephiles, and festivalgoers!”


The Festival in 2023

Piazza Grande framed the Festival in its traditional setting, characterized by a film offering that was varied and popular: from the laughter that greeted the opening title, L'Étoile Filante, to the moving return of Ken Loach with The Old Oak and Luc Jacquet’s deep dive into nature, to the awards presented to key figures in international moviemaking such as Pietro Scalia, Tsai Ming-liang and Marianne Slot. Tonight, will see the Piazza Grande program brought to a close with the film Shayda, presented by director Noora Niasari and actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi: the struggle for civil rights in Iran returns to the fore in this mother-and-daughter drama that was a winner at Sundance this year.

With 214 films in the program and 466 screenings, Festival theaters were crowded, thanks not only to an international competition that gave space to every film genre and offered illuminating insights into our world, but also the bold selections of the Cineasti del presente competition and the Pardi di domani short films section, the challenging and informative exchanges of the Conversations open to the audience, and lastly thanks to the Retrospective, which gave a rich and varied sample of the many colors of popular Mexican cinema.

The palmarès

The full prize list is available as a PDF file here.

Concorso internazionale

Pardo d’oro, Grand Prize of the Festival of the City of Locarno to the best film
MANTAGHEYE BOHRANI (CRITICAL ZONE) by Ali Ahmadzadeh, Iran/Germany

Special Jury Prize of the Cities of Ascona and Losone

Pardo for Best Direction of the City and Region of Locarno
Maryna Vroda for STEPNE, Ukraine/Germany/Poland/Slovakia

Pardo for Best Performance
Dimitra Vlagopoulou for ANIMAL by Sofia Exarchou, Greece/Austria/Romania/Cyprus/Bulgaria

Pardo for Best Performance
Renée Soutendijk for SWEET DREAMS by Ena Sendijarević, Netherlands/Sweden/Indonesia/Reunion

Special Mention
NUIT OBSCURE - AU REVOIR ICI, N'IMPORTE OÙ by Sylvain George, France/Switzerland

Concorso Cineasti del presente

Pardo d’oro Concorso Cineasti del presente to the best film
HAO JIU BU JIAN (DREAMING & DYING) by Nelson Yeo, Singapore/Indonesia

Best Emerging Director Award of the City and Region of Locarno
Katharina Huber for EIN SCHÖNER ORT, Germany

Special Jury Prize CINÉ+
CAMPING DU LAC by Éléonore Saintagnan, Belgium/France

Pardo for Best Performance
Clara Schwinning for EIN SCHÖNER ORT by Katharina Huber, Germany

Pardo for Best Performance
Isold Halldórudóttir and Stavros Zafeiris for TOUCHED by Claudia Rorarius, Germany

Special Mentions
EKSKURZIJA (EXCURSION) by Una Gunjak, Bosnia-Herzegovina/Croatia/Serbia/France/Norway/Qatar
NEGU HURBILAK by Colectivo Negu, Spain

First Feature

Swatch First Feature Award
HAO JIU BU JIAN (DREAMING & DYING) by Nelson Yeo, Singapore/Indonesia

Pardi di domani

Concorso Corti d’autore

Pardino d’oro Swiss Life for the Best Auteur Short Film 
THE PASSING by Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan, USA

Special Mention and Short Film candidate of the Locarno Film Festival for the European Film Awards
BEEN THERE by Corina Schwingruber Ilić, Switzerland


Concorso internazionale

Pardino d’oro SRG SSR for the Best International Short Film
EN UNDERSØGELSE AF EMPATI (A STUDY OF EMPATHY) by Hilke Rönnfeldt, Denmark/Germany

Pardino d’argento SRG SSR for the International Competition
DU BIST SO WUNDERBAR by Leandro Goddinho, Paulo Menezes, Germany/Brazil

Pardi di domani Best Direction Award – BONALUMI Engineering
Eric K. Boulianne for FAIRE UN ENFANT, Canada

Medien Patent Verwaltung AG Award
NEGAHBAN (THE GUARD) by Amirhossein Shojaei, Iran

Special Mention
THE LOVERS by Carolina Sandvik, Sweden


Concorso nazionale

Pardino d’oro Swiss Life for the Best Swiss Short Film
LETZTE NACHT by Lea Bloch, Switzerland

Pardino d’argento Swiss Life for the National Competition
NIGHT SHIFT by Kayije Kagame, Hugo Radi, Switzerland

Best Swiss Newcomer Award
LETZTE NACHT by Lea Bloch, Switzerland

Pardo Verde Ricola

Pardo Verde Ricola
ČUVARI FORMULE (GUARDIANS OF THE FORMULA) by Dragan Bjelogrlić, Serbia/Slovenia/Montenegro/ North Macedonia

Special Mentions
PROCIDA, film made by the participants of Procida Film Atelier, Italy
VALLEY PRIDE by Lukas Marxt, Austria/Germany

The closing night in Piazza Grande will be rounded off with the ceremonies for the Prix du Public UBS and the Variety Piazza Grande Award, plus the screening of the closing title Shayda by Noora Niasari, followed by a surprise movie for the Piazza, picked by Marco Solari to salute the Festival public after 23 years as President.


For pictures of prize winners and their films, visit.


The 77th Locarno Film Festival will take place from 7 to 17 August 2024.