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Locarno Film Festival

Locarno76: Pietro Scalia will receive the Vision Award Ticinomoda 2023

todayJuly 12, 2023

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The Locarno Film Festival will pay tribute to Italian - American film editor and two-time Oscar winner Pietro Scalia with the Vision Award Ticinomoda, the prize dedicated to creatives whose work has extended the horizons of the filmic image.

The Locarno Film Festival will pay tribute to Italian – American film editor and two-time Oscar winner Pietro Scalia with the Vision Award Ticinomoda, the prize dedicated to creatives whose work has extended the horizons of the filmic image.

The heartbeat of a film depends on its editing. The Locarno Film Festival will be paying homage to one of the great practitioners of vital cinema art, Pietro Scalia, with the Vision Award Ticinomoda 2023. Born in Italy, Scalia grew up in Switzerland before moving to Hollywood and working with some of contemporary cinema’s defining filmmakers, from Oliver Stone via Ridley Scott to Bernardo Bertolucci, exalting their vision and poetics, and bringing a new sensibility to his chosen craft.

As movie fans await the release of Michael Mann’s Ferrari, the most recent title on which the renowned editor has worked, Scalia will be one of the leading lights at the 76th edition of the Festival (2-12 August).

Giona A. Nazzaro, artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival, says about him:

“In the beginning there was the editing, as Eisenstein taught us. And as Hollywood formally defined it. In the tradition of the great film editors of Hollywood who shaped the image of classic cinema and its subsequent transformations, Pietro Scalia has revolutionized our way of thinking about how each image is joined to the next. In his collaborations with Bernardo Bertolucci, Ridley Scott, Sam Raimi, Michael Bay and Gus Van Sant (among many, many others), Scalia has proved able to both adhere to and reinvent the poetics and formal research of these auteurs. Scalia’s editing work has influenced whole generations of young filmmakers, he brought in a decisive new gaze in determining the rhythmic intervals and timing required for linking images to each other. Pietro Scalia: an experimental genius of the gaze and the musicality of editing.”

Giona A. Nazzaro: “Pietro Scalia has revolutionized our way of thinking about how each image is joined to the next”

The tribute program

The Vision Award Ticinomoda 2023 ceremony will take place on the evening of Thursday, August 3rd in Piazza Grande. The Locarno76 program will also include screenings of two titles picked by Scalia himself from his multi-faceted filmography:

  • Good Will Hunting, Gus Van Sant – USA – 1997
  • Black Hawk Down, Ridley Scott – USA/UK – 2001

On Friday, August 4th at 10.30am at the Forum @Spazio Cinema, there will also be a panel conversation featuring Pietro Scalia with the Festival audience.

Pietro Scalia BIO

Pietro Scalia was born in Sicily, but left Italy at a young age when his family emigrated to Switzerland. He completed his education there before moving again, this time to the U.S. to train for a career in the movies. He got a Master’s in Film and Theatre Arts at UCLA before starting out on a career that first found him working as assistant editor to Oliver Stone on Wall Street (1987) and Talk Radio (1988). In subsequent years he was associate editor on Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and additional editor on The Doors (1991).

In 1992, aged 31, he received his first nomination for Best Editing and went on to win the statuette itself, for Stone’s JFK (1991). During the same period, he was also laureled with A.C.E. (American Cinema Editors) and BAFTA awards. 1998 brought his second Oscar nomination, for Good Will Hunting by Gus Van Sant.

The collaboration with Redley Scott

After the nomination, he embarked on a collaboration with Ridley Scott, which lasted  for 15 years. He worked with the director on G.I. JANE (1997), Gladiator (2000), Hannibal (2001), Black Hawk Down (2001) and American Gangster (2007). The fruitful partnership with Scott brought him an Academy Award nomination for Gladiator, and then his second Best Editing Oscar for Black Hawk Down.

After the success of Ridley Scott’s 2015 The Martian, which brought his fifth A.C.E. and BAFTA nominations, Scalia went on to edit Alien: Covenant (2017), again by Scott, and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) by Ron Howard. Scalia’s most recent editing credits include Ambulance (2022) by Michael Bay and The Gray Man (2022) by the Russo brothers.

The last work: Ferrari

He has just finished cutting Michael Mann’s eagerly awaited Ferrari (2023), due in theaters later this year. Earlier films which he edited include The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) by Marc Webb, Little Buddha (1993) and Stealing Beauty (1996) by Bernardo Bertolucci, The Quick and the Dead (1995) by Sam Raimi, Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) by Rob Marshall and Kick-Ass (2010) by Matthew Vaughn.

Scalia was also involved as a music producer, with composer Hans Zimmer, on three of Ridley Scott’s films, and served on the jury at the 2004 Venice Film Festival.

Written by: Marco Migliore



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