Press Releases  ·  28 | 05 | 2020

Locarno Pro launches Heritage Online, the first industry platform to boost film heritage distribution

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In the run-up to “Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films”, Locarno Pro is set to launch a new, digitally based service dedicated to extending the outreach and distribution of the cinema of the past. Heritage Online will enable industry professionals to raise the visibility of their libraries of classic titles and films awaiting rediscovery, by setting up a direct channel of communication with players in the VOD platform marketplace and the rightsholders. Registration will open beginning of July 2020 and Heritage Online will come into its own with a series of dedicated pitching and events during the Locarno Pro days at Locarno 2020 (7-9 August), before continuing as a permanent project of the Locarno Film Festival.

Locarno Pro is the Industry core of the Locarno Film Festival. Even in an exceptional year such as 2020, the initiative will once again be creating a preferential meeting space for the independent industry, this time with the launch of a new-concept, ongoing digital platform: Heritage Online. The innovative project will create a platform whose ultimate goal is to put world film heritage on today’s screens, linking the cinema of the past with the audiovisual space of the future. Heritage Online will enable networking processes that will open up the hidden treasures of 120 years of cinema to digital audiences.

Head of Locarno Pro Valentina Merli commented: “I am delighted that my first edition at the Locarno Film Festival should see the launch of such a meaningful initiative, which aims to bring film heritage to the audiences of online platforms. The streaming marketplace is playing an ever greater part in daily viewing patterns, which is why Locarno Pro focused on this new development. It is vital that these new offerings extend to include the broadest possible range of genres and titles. In this perspective, Heritage Online will enable all viewers, even those who rarely go to theaters or festivals, to discover films from the past and enrich their cinema experience.”


From the archives to VOD

The mission of the Heritage Online platform is to broaden the cinema horizons of Video On Demand, expanding the range of titles offered by such services towards the rediscovery of cinemas and filmmakers of the past. Thanks to Heritage Online, rightsholders (international sales agents, film libraries, archives, institutes and restorers’ associations, etc.) will be able to share their catalogues — showcasing highlighted titles — with potential clients: operators in the world of VOD platforms, from generalist to niche offerings, from established names to emerging start-ups. By accessing this database of international film heritage, Streamers will be able to watch available titles, see detailed technical information, and get in touch directly with the rightsholders.

Heritage Online Project Manager Markus Duffner declared: “Locarno Pro is always responsive to the needs of industry professionals. Its mission is to create tools that help people in film to work even more effectively. Our new project Heritage Online fills a gap in the audiovisual industry landscape and will foster links between rightsholders, VOD platforms, and world cinema distribution.”


Two gateways to film heritage

The first is for rightsholders. By subscribing to Basic, rightsholders will have their own account allowing them to offer a selection from their catalogue on the platform. With a Premium subscription, users will additionally be able to access the Screening Room, where they can offer potential clients the possibility to view a selection of titles for up to a year.

The second gateway is for VOD broadcasters: with a completely free subscription and a private account, they will be able to access the database and browse the platform, as well as take part in scheduled virtual pitching sessions, round table discussions, etc.

From 2021 Heritage Online will be accessible via annual subscription, or with accreditation to Locarno Pro.


Heritage Online from July

Heritage Online will be open as of early July 2020, when professionals will be able to start taking out subscriptions and uploading their catalogues. During the Locarno Pro days (7–9 August) the platform will be fully active with a program featuring a dedicated round table and pitching sessions. From this year’s Festival onwards, Heritage Online will then continue as an ongoing project, becoming one of the keystone initiatives of Locarno Pro.

The remaining Locarno Pro initiatives will be presented over the coming weeks, beginning with Open Doors, the section that fosters cinemas and filmmaking talents from countries in the Global South and East and whose current focus is on South-East Asia and Mongolia.


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