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Planning for the future of the Festival and the audiovisual sector: find out more about the brief of the “Locarno Film Festival Professor for the Future of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts”
Always focused on innovation, the Locarno Film Festival welcomes the talents that reshape filmic language or experiment with different ways of storytelling. In recent years the Festival has gone beyond that longstanding commitment, extending its scope to include entirely new modalities of film viewing: a terrain that is still largely unexplored, especially as regards their place at film festivals and their appeal to younger audiences.
To map this uncharted territory, the Festival joined with Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) to set up a new academic post, the “Locarno Film Festival Professor for the Future of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts”: combining teaching and research in academia with professional engagement on the festival circuit, the new chair develops reflections on the future of film events and the evolving audiovisual landscape, actively involving the younger generations in the local area.
This role, born thanks to the joint action of the Festival and the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), marks a new meeting point between the academic world and the reality of live events, essential to face an external context marked by profound changes. Through this pioneering experience, on the one hand, the development strategies of the Locarno Film Festival will be nourished, and on the other, both the research field and the didactic offerings of USI will be expanded.
Kevin B. Lee, the first appointee to the chair from January 2022, mentors his USI students on a practical and theoretical journey around the contemporary phenomena that are shaping the future of cinema. From social media to digital technologies, from streaming platforms to virtual reality, to the new physical venues into which film is progressively expanding: museums, art galleries and urban spaces.
Certain lessons and lectures will be posted online on this page, together with updates on future activities involving the Professorship.
5 | 8 | 2021
Kevin B. Lee is “Locarno Film Festival Professor for the Future of Cinema and Audiovisual Art” at USI, Università della Svizzera italiana. A filmmaker, media artist and critic, Lee has produced over 360 video essays exploring film and the media. His multi-award-winning Transformers: The Premake launched the "desktop documentary" format and was named one of 2014’s best documentaries by Sight & Sound magazine. His video essays Reading // Binging // Benning and Once Upon a Screen: Explosive Paradox were the most cited by readers in polls on the video essay held by Sight & Sound, respectively in 2017 and 2020. The Bottled Songs project, Lee’s ongoing collaboration with Chloé Galibert-Laîné, received the 2018 Sundance Award Art of Nonfiction Grant, the 2018 European Media Artist Platform Residency and the 2019 Eurimages Lab Project Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. In 2020 he co-curated the Black Lives Matter Video Essay Playlist with Will DiGravio and Cydnii Wilde Harris. Lee’s previous academic posts include Professor of Crossmedia Publishing and co-chair of the Master’s Program in Artistic Research at the Merz Akademie in Stuttgart, Germany.