The Piazza will see Hans-Christian Schmid ("FAT WORLD (FETTE WELT) will also take part in the competition for the Golden Leopard. The screenplay is based on the novel of the same name by Helmut Krausser and recounts the love story between the young down-and-out Hagen Trinker and the runaway Judith. The leads are taken by Jürgen Vogel und Julia Filimonow, also starring are Stefan Dietrich, Sibylle Canonica and Lars Rudolph (production company: MTM cineteve, Munich, Novoskop, Berlin, Senator, Berlin).
SHORT SHARP SHOCK (KURZ UND SCHMERZLOS), a tragicomic portrayal of a gang in Hamburg's Altona district, gives 25-year-old Fatih Akin his first feature in competition on the Piazza: the Greek Costa, the Serb Bobby who dreams a career with the Mafia, and the Turk Gabriel have always kept together. But ever since Gabriel was in prison, he's wanted to grow up, but his friends hold him back (production company. Wüste, Hamburg).
Meanwhile, Harun Farocki has selected a total of fifteen of his works made between 1968 and 1997 and will have them presented in five programmes for the retrospective section.
The Locarno International Film Festival (05.-15.08.1998) is one of the most important film events in Europe. It is being held for the 51st time this year. The screenings on the Piazza in front of over 6,000 spectators is one of its particular attractions; normally, this is where selected films of the competition are shown as well as major international productions "out of competition".