How strange….how very strange. The reputation of Andrea Staka‘s Fraulein, winner of the Locarno Film Festival‘s Golden Leopard award, has been tainted somewhat by an admission by festival juror Barbara Albert that she co-wrote the film with Staka. How could the festival have allowed even the appearance of a possible conflict-of-interest go unchallenged?
When the news broke last Wednesday, Albert said she would recuse herself from jury discussions relating to the film. And then three days later — Saturday, 8.12 — she resigned from the jury entirely in opes of wanting to avoid the appearance of bias. Obviously, to avoid any trouble whatsover Albert should never have been on the Locarno jury in the first place. One half-presumes she would have never taken any measures if she hadn’t been “outed.” Amazing.
On top of this the festival’s artistic director Frederic Maire, 44, collapsed last Friday night while introducing Little Miss Sunshine in front of a big crowd at Locarno’s Piazza Grande. It’s not fair to throw these two incidents together, but tey do leave you with a vague impression that team Locarno is either eccentric or on wobbly footing, or both.