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With its support for the film industry in the year of the health crisis, Locarno 2020 – For the Future Films could not leave movie theaters behind. They are the performing space for each film, the home of cinema, the setting for the experience we call “going to the movies”. Hence the creation of Closer to Life, a project conceived in partnership with la Mobiliare. In confirming its presence alongside the Festival, its main sponsor decided to get involved in the support of Switzerland’s independent cinemas, which had to close their doors during the lockdown and deal with months of empty screens.
The project can be summed up with two numbers: 78 theaters and more than 10,000 tickets. To support the former, the latter have been bought and will be made available to the public, free of charge. By taking part in the Festival’s online competition or visiting one of the general agencies of la Mobiliare, film buffs will be able to receive a voucher covering two tickets, which will guarantee access to one of the concerned cinemas for a screening of the viewer’s own choosing, from October to December 2020.
Lili Hinstin, Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival says: “The delicate situation we are all facing together has made it clearer than ever how important it is to protect the things we care about. The auteur cinema that we love is fraught with surprising emotions and unexpected discoveries. Our duty as a Festival is to support auteur filmmaking, and the independent theaters that help to disseminate it and which give the public the possibility to watch such films on the big screen.”
Dorothea Strauss, head of Corporate Social Responsibility at la Mobiliare: “Films open our eyes to different points of view, issues, places and cultures – and so they generate ideas and creative debate. Culture is not a luxury and, at a time when we are facing unusual challenges, it can provide significant motivations and topics for reflection.”
To experience the initiative of the Locarno Film Festival, you can visit the Closer to Life website, find out how to obtain the free tickets and get to know the many people who have lent their faces and passion to the project. They include Lisa Brühlmann (actress), This Brunner (artist), Stephan Eicher (singer-songwriter), Sylvie Fleury (artist), Marc Forster (director), Stefan Gubser (actor), Lili Hinstin (Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival), Markus Hongler (CEO of la Mobiliare), Dieter Meier (conceptual artist and musician), Marco Solari (President of the Locarno Film Festival), Michael Steiner (director), Maya Rochat (artist) and Ella Rumpf (actress).
And that’s not all. During Locarno 2020, the Festival audience will get the chance to support the future of cinemas via direct donations, through PayPal before or after the free online screenings, or by purchasing a Supporter Season Ticket (250 or 1,000 Swiss francs) for the theatrical screenings in Locarno (August 5-15). The amount exceeding the 73 Swiss francs of the cost of a Standard Season Ticket will go to the support of independent movie theaters.