Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsNewsCompeting for the Golden Leopard: Christoph Hochhäusler with "Death will come" and Pia Marais with "Transamazonia" in Locarno

Competing for the Golden Leopard: Christoph Hochhäusler with "Death will come" and Pia Marais with "Transamazonia" in Locarno

The Locarno Film Festival has announced its programme for the 77th edition (7 to 17 August, 2024). A total of three productions backed by the Filmstiftung will be presented to audiences there. Christoph Hochhäusler and Pia Marais have been invited to the official Concorso Internazionale competition. Hochhäusler will be coming to Locarno with his new thriller “Death Will Come” ("La Mort Viendra"), produced by Cologne-based Heimatfilm. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW supported the thriller with 750,000 Euros. Pia Marais received the invitation for the international co-production "Transamazonia", which has  Cologne-based Pandora Film serving as the German producer. The Filmstiftung supported the contemporary western starring Helena Zengel with a total of 320,000 Euros. Both projects will now be competing for the Golden Leopard. In addition, "Electric Child" (unafilm) by Simon Jacquemet was selected. The film will be shown as a world premiere on the open-air venue of the world-famous Piazza Grande which can accommodate many thousands of spectators – a very special open-air cinema experience in a historic setting.

Walid Nakschbandi, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW: "These are the kind of world premieres people only dream of: Christoph Hochhäusler and Pia Marais presenting their new works in the Concorso Internazionale at Locarno! They’re definitely both among the most exciting German directors at the moment. The long-standing and reliable collaboration with their respective Cologne-based production companies, Heimatfilm and Pandora Film, have already enabled the two directors to achieve great cinema and now they are in pursuit of the Golden Leopard. We are very happy about this and are keeping our fingers crossed for all of the teams."

“Death Will Come” ("La Mort Viendra")

Hochhäusler wrote the screenplay for “Death Will Come” about the contract killer Tez with Ulrich Peltzer. The production by Cologne-based Heimatfilm was made in co-production with Amour Fou (LUX), Tarantula (BEL) and BR, in co-operation with Arte. This is the sixth time Christoph Hochhäusler has worked together with Heimatfilm.  The most recent successful collaboration was for "Till the End of the Night" which premiered at the Berlinale in 2023.


The filmmaker Pia Marais went to the Amazon rainforests of Brazil and French Guyana to shoot the Filmstiftung-backed production, with post-production of "Transamazonia" undertaken in NRW. The screenplay for the western was written by Pia Marais, Willem Droste and Martin Rosefeldt. The film is an international co-production by Cologne-based Pandora Film Produktion with Cinema Defacto/Gaijin from France and the Swiss production outfit Point Productions in association with the broadcasters WDR and Arte.

"Electric Child"

Writer-director Simon Jacquemet directed the science fiction drama "Electric Child" starring Elliott Crosset Hove, Rila Fukushima and Helen Schneider. The film tells the story of a computer scientist who makes a pact with the complex AI life form. The production by Swiss 8horses was made in co-production with Cologne-based unafilm, among others, and was also partly shot in NRW. Arte and SRF/SRG are the TV partners.

Film and Media Foundation at the Locarno Film Festival

The Locarno Film Festival is one of the most important international film festivals. Past years have seen numerous films supported by the Filmstiftung having their world premieres on the world-famous Piazza Grande or in the competition and then winning prizes there. Last year, "Touched" by Claudia Rorarius and "A Good Place" by Katharina Huber each won two awards in the Filmmakers for the Present competition for young filmmakers.