Laetitia Casta to Be Honored With Locarno Film Festival’s Excellence Award

French actor Laetitia Casta will be feted by Locarno Film Festival with its 2021 Excellence Award Davide Campari, which pays tribute to film personalities who have left their personal stamp on contemporary cinema.

The prominent Swiss fest dedicated to global indie cinema, headed by new artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro, has chosen to honor Casta in recognition of a career in which, after making the transition from the sphere of high fashion to the theater and film milieu, she’s risen to become “one of the most versatile acting talents of the new millennium,” the fest said in a statement.

Casta, who began her acting career in 1999 playing the beautiful young villager Falbalà in “Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar,” directed by Claude Zidi, has subsequently appeared in “Savage Souls” by Raùl Ruiz in 2001,  in “Love Street” by Patrice Leconte in 2002, and in Tsai Ming-liang’s “Face” in 2009, to name just a few films by prominent auteurs where she’s graced the screen. The year 2021 will see the release of three new movies in which Casta stars: “Lui” by Guillaume Canet; “La croisade” by Louis Garrel; and “Selon la police” by Frédéric Videau.

“Laetitia Casta personifies a highly modern concept of cinema, in tune with the ongoing transformation of audiences and moving images,” Nazzaro said in a statement. “Her artistic research has led her to work with some of the most innovative filmmakers of recent times, while conserving the unique and unmistakable acting style typical of classic cinema.”

Casta will be honored on Locarno’s opening day, Aug. 4, at the fest’s 8,000-seat Piazza Grande where two films she’s chosen from her body of work will screen: “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life” by Joann Sfar, and “A Faithful Man” by Louis Garrel. Casta will also take part in an on-stage conversation at the fest.

Previous Locarno Excellence Award recipients include Ethan Hawke, Mathieu Kassovitz, Edward Norton, John Malkovich, Juliette Binoche and Isabelle Huppert. 

The 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will run Aug. 4-14, with plans to be held as an in-person event.

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