Indonesian director Edwin wins at Locarno Film Festival

GENEVA • Indonesian director Edwin last Saturday won the Golden Leopard for the best picture at the Locarno Film Festival with Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash, a homage to 1980s Asian all-action movies.

The feature paints a humorous portrait of a violent young man who falls for a woman after fighting with her.

Edwin, who uses a single name, had already returned to Jakarta before the awards ceremony, but the organisers put out a video in which he said the Golden Leopard was "happiness... it's a nice support and it motivates. We need this energy in this not-so-easy time".

The Indonesian cinema industry is still young, the 43-year-old said, as in most of the movie industry in the region.

"I feel connected with all of South-east Asian region because we are facing more or less the same spirit and also at the same time facing the same problem, you know, we have censorship, we have violence here and there," he said. "We are very excited with the growing of our cinema... And even in this very difficult time, we can find the energy and all those spirits that can bring us, keeping us together and... celebrating ourselves and at the same time criticising and find out what to do in order to face our problems through cinema."

On the last night of the 74th Locarno festival in Switzerland, a lifetime achievement award was given to Italian director Dario Argento, 80, including for his leading role in director Gaspar Noe's Vortex, a movie about an elderly couple coping with Alzheimer's disease.

American director Abel Ferrara won the Best Direction Award for Zeros And Ones, while the Special Jury Prize went to Chinese director Qiu Jiongjiong for A New Old Play.

The best actress award went to Russia's Anastasiya Krasovskaya for her performance in Gerda, while the best actor prize went to Mohamed Mellali and Valero Escolar for their roles in Catalonian director Neus Ballus' The Odd-Job Men.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2021, with the headline 'Indonesian director Edwin wins at Locarno Film Festival'. Subscribe