Cannes eat your heart out!The place to be for movie buffs right now is the small Swiss-Italian town of Locarno. Its film festival has got underway with 18 features competing for the coveted Golden Leopard prize for best picture. Boasting world premieres and open-air screenings in the magnificent Piazza Grande, it attracted 180,000 cinema-goers last year. Locarno likes to be known as an edgy event at the forefront of new film trends. And for its departing Artistic Director Frederic Maire, the aim was to make this year’s 62nd edition his best production ever. “I think we tried to create the ideal festival, with great diversity, a lot of films but not too many,” he said. “And we have branched out to different genres – music and theatre – which are well represented.” Locarno may be a key fixture on the European cinema calendar but this year’s spotlight is also on “The Land of the Rising Sun,” with a Japanese animation retrospective called “Manga Impact.”
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