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Two Wallonia-Brussels films selected in Locarno!

The highly anticipated second feature film by César Dìaz, "Mexico 86", will have its world premiere on the Piazza Grande in front of 8,000 spectators. Meanwhile, "Listen To The Voices" by Maxime Jean-Baptiste will compete in the Cineasti del presente section, dedicated to first and second feature films

Five years after winning the Caméra d'Or for his debut feature film Nuestras Madres, director César Diaz returns with his new film, Mexico 86.

Produced by Need Productions and supported by the Centre du Cinéma de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, the film follows the journey of Maria, a Guatemalan revolutionary activist exiled in Mexico City for many years, where she continues her political activities. When her 11-year-old son comes to live with her, she faces a heart-wrenching choice between her role as a mother and that of an activist.

The lead role of Maria is played by Franco-Argentinian actress Bérénice Bejo. The film is co-produced by the French company Tripode (known for co-producing Dalva and The (Ex)perience of Love) and is sold internationally by Goodfellas.

César Dìaz was born in Guatemala in 1978. After studying in Mexico and Belgium, he joined the screenplay workshop at FEMIS in Paris. For more than ten years, he worked as an editor for both fiction and documentary films. In 2019, he won the Caméra d’Or for Nuestras Madres, a prestigious award for the best debut film presented at Cannes, across all sections.

Listen To The Voices, the first feature film by Maxime Jean-Baptiste, was produced by Twenty Nine Studio and Productions as part of the Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel’s call for lightweight productions.

It will be presented in competition in the Cineasti del presente section, dedicated to emerging directors.

Melrick is a troubled young boy spending his summer in Guyana with his grandmother to escape his tumultuous daily life in Stains, France. At the end of his stay, he plays the drum to honor the memory of his late uncle, Lucas Diomar, who died under tragic circumstances. Despite a wave of murders of young men shaking the news, Melrick becomes aware of his place in a family shattered by an irreparable loss.

Also noteworthy are the selections of two other films of foreign initiative co-produced by Wallonia-Brussels producers and supported by the Centre du Cinéma: Les enfants rouges by Lofti Achour, co-produced by Versus production, and Sauvages by Claude Barras, co-produced by Panique!.

The Locarno International Film Festival (Festival del film Locarno) is dedicated to auteur cinema and is held every year in August in the Italian-speaking Swiss town of Locarno. Organized since 1946, it is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. The festival is recognized by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) as one of the thirteen "competitive festivals," alongside festivals such as Cannes, Venice, and Berlin.

Created to discover new trends, the Locarno festival has often been the first to recognize the genius of young directors who later became leading figures of their generation. The Locarno Festival is also unique in presenting films outdoors at the prestigious Piazza Grande, which can accommodate 8,000 spectators.

The 77th Locarno Film Festival will take place from August 7 to 17, 2024.


Mexico 86

César Diaz

Feature film / Fiction

Listen to the voices

Maxime Jean-Baptiste

Feature film / Fiction