March of the Penguins Director Luc Jacquet to Be Honored by Locarno Film Festival

Oscar-winning French director Luc Jacquet (“March of the Penguins”) will be honored by the Locarno Film Festival with its Locarno Kids Award celebrating a film personality who has brought the magic of movies to younger audiences.

“Luc Jacquet’s gaze has followed the perspective of the plant and animal kingdoms through his many voyages to the Antarctic or into forests both remote and close to home,” the Swiss festival dedicated to indie cinema said in a statement. It pointed out that this year’s prize “goes to a filmmaker who has consistently conveyed a powerful ecological message to younger generations of cinema lovers.”

The French biologist and filmmaker has made hugely popular nature documentaries such as “Penguins,” watched by more than 25 million people worldwide since its 2006 release, and “Once Upon a Forest” in 2013 and “Ice and the Sky” (2015). He also helmed a fiction feature “The Fox & the Child” (2007).

Jacquet will receive his award in Locarno on Aug. 7 prior to an open-air screening of “Penguins” on the lakeside resort’s 7,000 seat Piazza Grande as part of a mini-retro of his works. He will also take part in a panel discussion on Aug. 8.

“Luc Jacquet is a director who has masterfully woven together the magical charm of observation and the pure poetry of storytelling, taking our gaze to dimensions of the planet never before explored,” said Giona A. Nazzaro, the festival’s artistic director. “By turning documentary into epic, but intimate, adventures he has drawn new generations of viewers into the magic of motion picture storytelling and at the same time engaged them on behalf of protecting life in all its forms,” he added.

Jacquet’s upcoming film “Magnetic Continent” will explore his long-standing passion for the Antarctic.

Previous recipients of the Locarno Kids Award, which was created in 2021, are Japanese anime director Mamoru Hosoda (“Mirari,” “Wolf Children”) and Indian filmmaker Gitanjali Rao (“Bombay Rose,” “October”).

The 76th Locarno Film Festival will run Aug. 2-12.

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