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Singapore filmaker Khoo to head Locarno filmfest jury

Singaporean film director Eric Khoo will be president of the jury at the Locarno international film festival in Switzerland later this year, the organisers announced Monday.

The award-winning independent filmmaker will be joined by four other actors and directors on the jury to select the Golden Leopard (‘Pardo’) awards at the annual festival in the southern Swiss town on August 4-14.

They include Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani, lead actress in Ridley Scott’s 2008 thriller “Body of Lies”, and 26-year-old US independent filmmaker Joshua Safdie, the festival said in a statement.

Khoo was most recently among the nominees for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 with “My Magic”, the story of an alcoholic nightclub bartender who returns to being a magician to impress his 10-year-old son.

Locarno, one of Europe’s oldest film festivals alongside Cannes and Venice, features showcase starlight screenings for up to 8,000 in the lakeside town’s renaissance square, close to the Italian border.

It has carved a reputation for spotting rising young new film talent and for introducing movies from Asia and Latin America to European audiences.