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Red to Receive Locarno Fest Honor

Red to Receive Locarno Fest Honor

Red to Receive Locarno Fest Honor

French-Swiss actress Irène Jacob, best-known for her star-making turns in Krzysztof Kieślowski’s The Double Life of Veronique (1991), and Three Colors: Red (1994), will be honored at this year’s Locarno Film Festival with the Leopard Club Award for her contribution to contemporary cinema.

The award ceremony will take place at Locarno’s Piazza Grande on the evening of Friday, Aug. 9 and be followed the next morning by a public conversation with Jacob at Forum @Spazio Cinema. The festival will screen Kieślowski’s Three Colors: Red in tribute.

“Irène Jacob is one of cinema’s most mysterious and sublime presences,” said Locarno artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro. “Her every performance manifests the elusive precision of a presence so completely identified with the film’s images as to become virtually part of the cinematography. Her skill in surrendering herself to the directors’ gaze and then, on the contrary, to vigorously embodying the character, taking charge of it, is the sign of a refined and knowingly instinctual art… Jacob is a veritable treasure of the cinema.”

Born in Paris but raised in Geneva, Jacob made her film debut in Louis Malle’s Au revoir les enfants (1987), which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. But it was her work with Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski that would bring her international fame. Their first collaboration, and Kieślowski’s first feature made outside Poland, The Double Life of Veronique (1991), premiered in Cannes, where Jacob won the best actress honor. Jacob also starred in Three Colors: Red, Kieślowski’s last film, which premiered in Cannes, losing out on the Palme d’Or that year to Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. The film, which also screened in Locarno in 1994, went on to receive three Oscar nominations.

Three Colors: Red made Jacob a global name and she would go on to feature in several international productions: Playing Desdemona alongside Laurence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh in Oliver Parker’s Othello (1995); taking supporting roles in U.S. Marshals with Tommy Lee Jones and Wesley Snipes, and in My Life So Far (1999) with Colin Firth and Rosemary Harris.

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More recently, Jacob has played in such arthouse dramas as Shikun from Amos Gitai, which premiered in Berlin this year, and in Rithy Panh’s Cannes entry Meeting With Pol Pot.

The 77th Locarno Film Festival runs Aug. 7-17. Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner will serve as jury president of the 77th edition.

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