Home World Jessica Hausner Announced as Jury President at Locarno Film Festival

Jessica Hausner Announced as Jury President at Locarno Film Festival

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Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner will serve as jury president of the jury, or Concorso Internazionale, at the 77th Locarno Film Festival, organizers said on Thursday.

She will oversee the jury that decides the winner of the Pardo d’Oro – the Golden Leopard – at the Swiss film festival, taking place Aug 7-17.

Hausner began her career in short films after studying at the Film Academy of Vienna, creating austere and distinctive films. Locarno was the first international festival at which Hausner’s work made an impression, taking home the main prize in the section Pardi di Domani for the short Flora in 1997.

She moved to Cannes with Inter-View (1999), her 45-minute graduation film, and later co-founded the production company coop99 which, besides Hausner’s own films and those of the other co-founders (Barbara Albert, Antonin Svoboda, and Martin Gschlacht), has also gone on to produce film such as Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann (2016) and Jasmila Žbanić’s Quo Vadis, Aida? (2020).  

Hausner’s first feature films Lovely Rita (2001) and Hotel (2004) would both premiere in Un Certain Regard at Cannes, followed by Lourdes (2009), which debuted in competition at the Venice Film Festival and took home the FIPRESCI prize.

Her subsequent films include Amour Fou (2014), her English-language debut Little Joe (2019), and last year’s Club Zero (2023).

“It is a great honor and also a great pleasure for me to preside over the main jury of this year’s Locarno Film Festival,” said Hausner. “The responsibility I feel is to respectfully hear the various opinions of my fellow jury members, as I truly believe that every person sees a different film and that every perspective is interesting to discuss. For me, Locarno is a festival that values artistic and original approaches in filmmaking and thus reinforces the avant-garde of world cinema. I am happy to contribute to this agenda because filmmaking is, in my opinion, about challenging our perspectives and finding new and unusual ways to look at things.”

Giona A. Nazzaro, artistic director, added: “A vital and restless filmmaker, Jessica Hausner has created a diverse body of work reflecting the most hidden aspects of contemporary society with extraordinary depth. With clarity, steadfastness, and impeccable progression, she has imagined both spiritual and fantastical worlds that reflect the cogent richness of a complex and contradictory human experience. To have Jessica Hausner as jury president of the Locarno Film Festival’s Concorso Internazionale is an extraordinary honor and a guarantee that the films will be discussed by a jury led by one of the most extraordinary filmmakers working today.”

The jury of the Concorso Internazionale, chaired by Jessica Hausner, will award the Pardo d’Oro on the final day of the festival, Saturday, Aug 17. The complete selection of Locarno77 will be announced on Wednesday, July 10. 

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