Colombian director Ciro Guerra (Birds Of Passage) has been appointed head of jury for Critics’ Week, which runs parallel to the Cannes Film Festival and is dedicated to first and second films. The jury is rounded out by actress Amira Casar (Call Me By Your Name), Danish producer Marianne Slot (The House That Jack Built), Congolese critic Djia Mambu and Italian director Jonas Carpignano (A Ciambra). Guerra’s critically acclaimed 2015 black-and-white pic The Embrace of the Serpent won the top prize at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight and was nominated for a foreign-language Oscar in 2016. His most recent film Birds Of Passage also world premiered at Directors’ Fortnight. Critics’ Week, headed by Charles Tesson, has previously helped launch the careers of Jacques Audiard, Alejandro González Iñarritu, Ken Loach, François Ozon, Wong Kar-waï and Jeff Nichols.
John Waters is to receive the Locarno Film Festival‘s highest honorary distinction, the Pardo d’Onore Manor, during the 72nd edition of the festival which runs from August 7-17. The U.S. director, screenwriter and actor, will be in Piazza Grande on Friday, August 16 to present a screening of his film Cecil B. DeMented (2000). Other Waters films to screen in Switzerland will include A Dirty Shame and Female Trouble, while Polyester will be shown as it was on first released with scratch and sniff cards. The Hairspray and Cry-Baby director became known as the “Pope of Trash” in the 1970s thanks to a string of transgressive cult films such as Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble and Desperate Living. Lili Hinstin, Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival, said “For my first edition, offering John Waters the highest distinction of the festival is a perfect manifesto. His playful work, full of boldness and joy, is a symbol of freedom far removed from the political correctness ruling today. His political and aesthetic commitment is vital in these times and I am extremely happy and honored to share his incredible work with the audience of Locarno.” Previous recipients of the award include Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Loach, Sydney Pollack, William Friedkin, Jia Zhang-ke, Werner Herzog, Agnès Varda and Michael Cimino.