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Two Breton films screened at the Locarno International Film Festival Bretagne Cinéma

“Forbidden to Dogs and Italians” by Alain Ughetto and “Yuku and the Flower of the Himalayas” by Arnaud Demuynck and Rémi Durin were both selected at the Locarno Festival and will be screened there. Dedicated to auteur cinema, the Locarno International Film Festival is one of the oldest film festivals in the world and takes place every summer in the Italian-Swiss town of Locarno. The 75th edition of the festival takes place from August 3 to 13.

Photo credit: DR
  • Forbidden to dogs and Italians

Synopsis : Early 20th century, in northern Italy, in Ughettera, birthplace of the Ughetto family. Life in this region having become very difficult, the Ughettos dream of starting all over again abroad. According to legend, Luigi Ughetto then crossed the Alps and began a new life in France, forever changing the fate of his beloved family. His grandson retraces their story here.

Presented for the first time at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in the Work In Progress selection, Forbidden to dogs and Italians is a 2D stop motion feature film directed by Alain Ughetto. It had its world premiere in competition at Annecy this year and won the Jury Prize and the Gan Foundation Diffusion Prize. The director was inspired by the story of his family from the Piedmont region of Italy and constructed his film as a fictional dialogue with Cesira, the director’s deceased grandmother, who tells him her story.

The title of the film refers to the Italophobia present within French society between 1875 and 1914, in a context of rising nationalism, diplomatic tensions between France and Italy and crisis in the labor market. Italian immigrants were then the scapegoats for all the ills of society and it was not until 1945, at the end of the Second World War, that their image improved in France. However, this still remained very negative until the 1970s in countries such as Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.

Co-produced by Les Films du Tambour de Soie, Vivement Lundi!, Foliascope, Graffiti Doc, Lux Fugit Film, Nadasdy Film, Patouch Films, shooting for the film began in January 2020 and ended on July 31, 2021. Stop motion was reinforced by 2D images of the landscapes and real documentary images shot in Ughettera, the village of origin of the Ughetto. In addition to co-producing the film, the Rennes-based company Vivement Lundi! also made the puppets, costumes and sets for the film.

Supported by Bretagne Cinéma, Forbidden to dogs and Italians received financial aid from the Brittany Region in partnership with the CNC. It will be screened at the Locarno Festival on Tuesday August 2, 2022 in Piazza Grande, the square in the heart of the city which can accommodate up to 8,000 festival-goers.

  • Yuku and the Himalayan Flower

Synopsis : On top of the highest mountains on earth lives a plant that feeds on the most perfect light of the sun. It’s called…the flower of the Himalayas. Yuku, a young mouse, leaves her family to go in search of this flower with eternal light. She wants to give it to her grandmother who has announced that she will soon have to leave with the little blind mole in the meanders of the earth. But to find it, there is a long journey to travel, strewn with obstacles. You have to cross the terrible domain of sewer rats under the castle, the meadow with cruel and voracious crows, the enchanted forest where you get lost. And, above all, the little bridge of fear which is guarded by the wolf! But on his journey, thanks to his music and his songs, Yuku will make many friends. They are the most precious asset to succeed in the adventure of life.

Musical comedy for young audiences co-produced by Arnaud Demuynck and Rémi Durin, Yuku and the Himalayan Flower is part of the Locarno Kids selection, a selection for children and teenagers which awards the Locarno Kids Award la Mobiliare. The film will be screened in Locarno on Saturday 6 August.

From funny ska to moving blues (sung by rocker Arno), from crazy rap to a swing worthy of King Louis (the author’s nod to The Jungle Book), from a philosophical ballad (sung with Agnès Jaoui) to a boogie-woogie (carried away by the deep voice of Tom Novembre), the film invites moviegoers to sing and jiggle in their seats.

Long live Monday! is one of the co-producers of the animated feature film supported by Bretagne Cinéma. Yuku and the Himalayan Flower is distributed by Gebeka Films and will be released in French cinemas on October 19.

  • Note: a third film linked to Brittany will be presented as a world premiere as part of the 75th Locarno Film Festival (Cineastes of the Present Section). This is the new film by Ana Vaz, E Noite Na América / It’s dark in Americaco-produced by the Rennes production company Spectre.

Synopsis : A young dead anteater on the side of a road, a boa constrictor snake walks in the middle of the city, a little owl is rescued in the radio sector, a capybara swims in the water mirror of the presidential palace. Are the animals invading the city, or is it us who occupy their habitat?

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