Vitalina Varela comes out of the darkness to win the prestigious Golden Leopard at Locarno - Locarno 2019 – Competition/Filmmakers of the Present/Signs of Life/Piazza Grande/Moving Ahead/Awards

Perhaps not so unexpectedly, the rigour and tenacity of Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa seduced the jury of the International Competition. A regular of the Locarno Film Festival, which has always reserved a prominent place for him (his previous film Horse Money won the Best Director award in Locarno in 2014), Portuguese director Pedro Costa this year wins two awards with his superb and uncompromisingly bitter Vitalina Varela: the Golden Leopard, the supreme recognition of the festival, and the Leopard for Best Actress, given to Vitalina Varela, the lead of the film. An acting award which the jury of the International Competition, headed by Catherine Breillat, gave to the woman who, with her person, her story, and her tormented physicality gave body to Pedro Costa’s film. Beyond the hermeticism of a demanding and aesthetically grandiose cinema, which recalls masters of supernatural horror such as David Lynch (and his Elephant Man), Vitalina.
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