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Activities - 17/08/2016


Tizza COVI & Rainer FRIMMEL’s MISTER UNIVERSO wins Europa Cinemas Locarno Label


Tizza COVI and Rainer Frimmel’s feature MISTER UNIVERSO from Austria and Italy has been awarded the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European Film at the 69th Locarno Film Festival. 2016 marks the fourth time the Europa Cinemas Label has been awarded in Locarno and the second time the duo of directors is awarded the Europa Cinemas Label after the Directors’ Fortnight in 2009 for LA PIVELLINA.

MISTER UNIVERSO will now receive the support of the Europa Cinemas Network, with additional promotion and incentives for exhibitors to extend the film’s run on screen.

The jury issued the following statement: “First of all, we would like to thank the Locarno film Festival for inviting us. We have been very happy to be part of a Festival which passionately defends cinema as an art. We have chosen to award the Label to MISTER UNIVERSO in which Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel continue their ongoing exploration of an endangered way of life, still fighting for its existence. This is emphasized by their choice of shooting the movie on film, a strong comment in a digital world. With this circus working in the fringes of cities, the directors blend documentary and fiction to tell an endearing and hopeful story that can appeal to a large audience, young and old. A very worthy and original recipient of this year Europa Cinemas Label.”

Synopsis: The young lion tamer Tairo is unhappy with his present life situation. He uses the loss of his talisman to make a trip through Italy searching for the man, who gave it to him a long time ago.

Director: Tizza COVI & Rainer FRIMMEL

Cast: Tairo CAROLI, Wendy WEBER, Arthur ROBIN

Screenplay: Tizza COVI

Production: Vento Film

International Sales: Be for Films -


The jury was composed of: 

Charlene LYDON - Light House Cinema/ Element Pictures – Dublin (Ireland)

Charlene joined Element Pictures in 2010 as part of the script development team after completing a Masters in Film Theory and History and spending time working as a film journalist. In 2011 she joined Volta, Element’s VOD platform as Programming and Editorial Manager. She is also the Programmer for Light House Cinema since it re-opened in January 2012. Charlene has an enduring passion for film and for helping great films find their audience. She would happily live out the rest of her days watching films for a living.

Stefan PAUL - Arsenal/ Atelier – Tübingen (Germany)

After studying German and English literature at Tübingen University, Stefan started to work as a freelance author and editor at the Süddeustscher Rundfunk / Television in Stuttgart. He became Head of Cinemas in Stuttgart and Tübingen in 1974 and Leipzig in 1990. He is also the CEO of the Arsenal Filmverleih Tübingen since 1975. Arsenal was awarded with the German Distributor Award in 2001 and 2006. Stefan was also the Head of programming of the EXPO Filmfest 2000 at the world exhibition EXPO 2000 in Hannover. He is also the director of 10 full-length films.

Jean-Jacques RUE – Utopia - St-Ouen L’Aumône (France)

After working in distribution companies (Ed Distribution, Blaq Out) and managing Parasite Distribution specialized in political documentaries, he becomes programmer and organizer at the Utopia Cinema in Saint Ouen l’Aumône. He is also a free-lance programmer for the distribution of many documentaries released in France as well as film critic for the satirical montly newspapers Siné Mensuel. He is also the author of Eat one another - a story of cannibalism in cinema(Tausend Augend editions).

Marco VILLOTTA – Visionario / Cinemazero – Udine (Italy)

Since 2003, Marco has been working for Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche, a cultural association in Udine, Italy, which manages two cinemas in town, the Visionario and the Centrale, for a total of five screens. The Far East Film Festival, dedicated to Asian popular cinema, is the most important cultural and artistic project handled by C.E.C. and has reached its 18th edition this year. In 2008 they also started a distribution company together with another Europa Cinemas member of the region, Cinemazero. They have distributed both Asian and European films, among these Departures by Takita Yōjirō, The High Sun by Dalibor Matanić and Zoran, my nephew the idiot by Matteo Oleotto.