Lola Pater (2017): Nadir Mokneche’s Transgender Drama, Starring Fannie Ardant

Four French world premieres will be shown on the Piazza Grande at the 2017 Locarno Film Festival.

They include Nadir Mokneche’s transgender-themed Lola Pater, which festival artistic director Carlo Chatrian said represented a very interesting acting challenge for Fannie Ardant.

Chien, a black comedy by director-actor Vincent Macaigne, about a meek man who becomes a dog.

Boxing drama Sparring, which is actor Samuel Jouy’s directorial debut, toplining Mathieu Kassowitz (“Amelie”).

Indian megastar Irrfan Khan (“Life of Pi,” “The Amazing Spider-Man”) and France-based Iranian indie darling Golshifteh Farahani (“Paterson”) are expected to make the trek to promote Swiss-Indian director Anup Singh’s The Song of Scorpions, which mixes Bollywood tropes with harsh reality since its basic theme is “sexual violence against Indian women.”

Serge Bozon’s Madame Hyde, starring Oscar-nominated Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) as a mild-mannered physics professor in a provincial school who becomes the dangerous Madame Hyde after being struck by lightening, is among the standouts in the official competition.

Another notable entry is late Chilean auteur Raoul Ruiz’s La Telenovela Errante, an unfinished film he shot in the 1990s, now completed by his widow and regular editor, Valeria Sarmiento. The idea was to tell the story of post-Pinochet Chile by doing it in soap-opera style.