The Locarno Film Festival will honor Riz Ahmed, the acclaimed British actor, for his outstanding contributions to cinema. The festival, known for promoting independent filmmaking, will feature the world premiere of Ahmed’s latest short film, “Dammi,” directed by the renowned French filmmaker Yann Mounir Demange.
Riz Ahmed gained international recognition for his exceptional performance in the movie “Sound of Metal,” which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in 2021. As one of the most talented and versatile actors of his generation, Ahmed has impressed both critics and audiences alike with his diverse and compelling roles.
Locarno Film Festival will present Ahmed with the prestigious 2021 Excellence Award Davide Campari. This award is dedicated to celebrating film personalities who have left a lasting impact on contemporary cinema. By honoring Ahmed, the festival recognizes his significant influence on the world of filmmaking and his exceptional artistic achievements.
“Dammi,” the highly anticipated short film, has already gained attention following a teaser shown at Cannes. The experimental work delves into the themes of immigration and identity, presenting a thought-provoking narrative that promises to captivate the audience.
The film is produced by the esteemed French fashion brand AMI, founded by Alexandre Mattiussi, and boasts an impressive cast. Alongside Riz Ahmed, the movie features acclaimed actors Isabelle Adjani, Souheila Yacoub, Sandor Funtek, and Suzy Bemba, all of whom deliver powerful performances in this bold and thought-provoking production.
Locarno’s Piazza Grande, with a seating capacity of 8,000, will host the premiere of “Dammi” on the festival’s opening night, August 2. The screening will undoubtedly be a memorable event, with film enthusiasts eagerly anticipating the unveiling of this exceptional cinematic creation.
Beyond his accomplishments as an actor, Riz Ahmed is also recognized for his work in music. He has used rap as a medium to convey his personal messages and connect with audiences on a deeper level. This twofold aspect of his talent sets Ahmed apart as a multifaceted artist with an impressive creative range.
In addition to “Dammi,” Locarno will showcase two other remarkable works chosen by Ahmed. One of these is “Mughal Mowgli,” a film in which Ahmed served as a producer and co-writer. Directed by Bassam Tariq, the film explores compelling themes and will be screened at the festival on August 3.
The second work is the short film “The Long Goodbye,” co-written, produced, and starring Riz Ahmed. Directed by Aneil Karia, this captivating film accompanied Ahmed’s studio album of the same name. In recognition of their remarkable talent, Ahmed and Karia received the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 2022 for “Long Goodbye.”
Giona A. Nazzaro, the artistic director of Locarno Film Festival, praised Ahmed’s remarkable versatility and talent. Whether on stage, in front of the camera, or expressing himself through music, Ahmed’s ability to connect with diverse audiences is a testament to his artistic brilliance.
Nazzaro emphasized that Ahmed’s success and recognition extend beyond his Academy Award, reflecting his profound impact on the film industry. As cinema evolves to embrace new voices and perspectives, Ahmed stands as a symbol of a future in which creativity knows no boundaries.
Aside from Riz Ahmed, Locarno Film Festival will also honor other remarkable individuals, including Harmony Korine, Pietro Scalia, and Tsai Ming-liang. The 76th edition of the festival will take place from August 2 to 12, offering an exciting lineup of exceptional films and celebrating the contributions of talented artists from around the world.