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The Locarno Film Festival’s Leopard Club Award goes to Kasia Smutniak


© Andrea Gandini

Kasia Smutniak, defined by artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro as “a skilled, very personal actress”, will receive the Leopard Club Award at the 74th Locarno Film Festival (4-14 August 2021). The award ceremony, slated for the evening of Friday 6 August in Piazza Grande, will be followed on Saturday 7 August by a conversation with the audience, moderated by Piera Detassis, at the Forum @Rotonda by la Mobiliare, plus a screening of the film Nelle tue mani by Peter Del Monte.

If there’s one face that, by sheer determination and force of persuasion, has impressed itself upon Italian cinema in recent years, it’s that of Polish-Italian Kasia Smutniak. After a career as a model she began acting in Italy, working both with established directors, such as the Taviani brothers (Wondrous Boccaccio, 2015) and Paolo Sorrentino (Loro, 2018), and with acknowledged comedy drama specialists such as Paolo Genovese (Perfect Strangers, 2016). She has also been a high-profile star of TV series – In Treatment, (Saverio Costanzo, 2013-2017); Devils (Nick Hurran, Jan Michelini, 2020); Domina (David Evans, Claire McCarthy, Debs Paterson, 2021) – and left her mark on international cinema (From Paris With Love, Pierre Morel, 2010; Dolittle, Stephen Gaghan, 2020). The Leopard Club Award, named for the official association of supporters of the Festival, will pay tribute to an actress who is pursuing a determined, steady career, capable of conveying to moviegoers the urgency and vibrancy of a much-loved kind of Italian cinema, which has found in Smutniak a highly appreciated performer.

Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival: “As a skilled, very personal actress who carefully manages her presence and her performing choices, Kasia Smutniak’s talent is plain to all. Her ability to move between committed cinema, drama, comedy and television, always flexible and refined in finding the right register, has allowed her to establish herself as one of the most interesting and exciting names in Italian and European cinema. Her already rich and diversified filmography bears witness to the efforts of a performer who has ceaselessly queried the nature of her role as actress, while maintaining a dialogue with her public. Kasia Smutniak is a modern talent and we are pleased to be able to celebrate her at a time when she is yet again taking on fresh challenges in her career.”
The tribute program
On Friday 6 August the Leopard Club Award will be given to Smutniak in the magical setting of the Piazza Grande. On Saturday 7 August, the actress will meet festival-goers at the Forum @Rotonda by la Mobiliare, for a panel conversation in which she will review her career to date, moderated by David di Donatello Academy President Piera Detassis.
On the same Saturday at 3 pm in the PalaCinema 1 there will be a screening of a landmark performance in Smutniak’s career on the big screen, in a film which brought her first Nastro d’argento award:

The screening of this film will also commemorate the death last May of its director.
To learn more about the events dedicated to Kasia Smutniak and see the full program for Locarno74, see here.





Leopard Club

Founded in 2008 by its President Rolando Benedick, the Leopard Club is the official supporting association of the Locarno Film Festival. 
The Club succeeded, thanks to the contributions of its members – who enjoy a bouquet of exclusive privileges ensuring their Festival experience is absolutely unique – immediately in its mission of securing significant financial support to the Festival, consolidating its role as a major backer for future development of the event.




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