ROME (Hollywood Reporter) - Amid controversy, the Swiss film "Das Fraulein" (The Waitress) was awarded the Golden Leopard at the close of the 59th Locarno International Film Festival.
According to festival officials, FRÄULEIN was an overwhelming choice of the jurors on Saturday. But the honor was tainted after juror Barbara Albert stepped down on the final day of the August 2-12 event after revealing that she had co-written the film with director Andrea Staka. The drama unfolded as artistic director Frederic Maire, in his first year at the helm of the Locarno festival, recuperated in a hospital bed. Maire, 44, collapsed from exhaustion Friday night while introducing the U.S. film LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE to a packed crowd at Locarno's Piazza Grande. Festival president Marco Solari said Maire was expected to recover quickly.