Producer, director and pioneer of the Italian film and television industry Renzo Rossellini is being honored with the Locarno Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Swiss festival dedicated to independent cinema will pay homage to the eminent director and man of the Renaissance – who has sponsored as a producer the works of such eminent directors as Federico Fellini, Lina Wertmüller, Werner Herzog and Francis Ford Coppola – with the presentation of Fellini’s 1980 work “City of Women” on 8,000 outdoor seats in Piazza Grande at 10 August, followed by an onstage conversation the next day.
Rossellini who also worked as an assistant director to his father Roberto and among others, François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol – a director in his own right – “never stopped in his quest to pass on his knowledge of cinema, teaching generations of students,” the festival said in a statement.
“Film is a tool for learning about the world: Renzo Rossellini taught this lesson relentlessly, becoming a central figure in modern cinema,” Locarno art director Giona Nazzaro said in a statement.
“His love of film came from his family and stayed with him throughout his life. Gifted with infallible instincts and driven by his passion, he left a deep and lasting mark.”
Born in Rome in 1941, Renzo Rossellini is the son of the late great Italian master Roberto Rossellini and Marcella De Marchis. He studied history and philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris, and later worked in France as an assistant director to François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol. Then he started a collaboration with his father Roberto, first as an assistant director and then as a producer, which lasted until 1977.
He later founded and led two production companies, Gaumont Italia and Artisti Associati, for which he produced, financed and distributed over a hundred films. Rossellini later taught film production at the NUCT Film School in Rome, and the history of European cinema at UCLA, among other universities. In 1981 he founded and directed the Gaumont Film School in Rome whose alumni include directors Daniele Luchetti, Giuseppe Piccione, Antonello Grimaldi and Valerio Gallongo and producers such as Domenico Procacci.
Previous winners of the Locarno Lifetime Achievement Awards include Harrison Ford, Alain Delon, Jacqueline Bisset, Harvey Keitel and Dario Argento.
The 76th edition will be played in Locarno from 2 to 12 August.