This year’s special edition of the Festival "Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films" is dedicated to the future of cinema in all its dimensions. For its entire existence, the Festival has actively promoted independent film production, the global visibility of short films and the network of the international film industry. Now thanks to the support of Swiss cooperative la Mobiliare, the Festival will concentrate its efforts towards the safeguarding of Swiss independent movie theaters. It will do so through the initiative Closer to Life – a project with a joint approach addressing both the domestic film exhibition sector and, in parallel, movie lovers everywhere.
Swiss independent movie theaters are facing a complex and challenging situation as a result of the global pandemic. Thanks to the joint commitment of the Locarno Film Festival and la Mobiliare, the solidarity initiative Closer to Life will provide crucial assistance to this key branch of the film industry. In support of 78 independent theaters in Switzerland, more than 10,000 admissions have been purchased – all which will be made available to the public free of charge. Film fans will be able to obtain a voucher valid for two tickets by taking part in the online competition organized by the Festival, or directly by visiting one of the general agencies of la Mobiliare. The tickets will guarantee admission at a participating theater, to any desired screening between October and the end of December 2020.
Cinema is not a luxury
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.”
A wide-ranging cultural effort
The Closer to Life initiative will involve 78 independent theaters from all over Switzerland. Each theater contributes added value to the Swiss cultural scene, helping to promote and safeguard the integrity, quality and diversity of cinema as an art form.
Numerous leading personalities will be taking part in the initiative, whose videos will feature Swiss artists and cultural figures detailing their own reasons for loving cinema, with endorsements including Lisa Brühlmann (actress), This Brunner (artist), Stephan Eicher (songwriter), Sylvie Fleury (artist), Marc Forster (director), Stefan Gubser (actor), Lili Hinstin (Artistic Director Locarno Film Festival), Markus Hongler (CEO la Mobiliare), Dieter Meier (conceptual artist and musician), Marco Solari (President Locarno Film Festival), Michael Steiner (director), Maya Rochat (artist) and Ella Rumpf (actress).
Other activities in the solidarity program for Locarno 2020
The Festival is also supporting Swiss independent theaters through the sale of special season tickets, valid for the physical screenings presented at Locarno from 5 to 15 August. The surcharge over the standard cost will go entirely to theaters. Plus, again from 5 to 15 August, Locarno 2020 is organizing a fundraising on its own website, likewise in support of independent theaters: the screenings online will be free, but users logging in to view them will be invited to contribute to the cause by making a donation.
Locarno Film Festival / Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films
Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films is an unprecedented, multi-format edition, worldwide online and in theaters in Locarno, that the Locarno Film Festival has planned, designed and set up with the help of its partners in the year of COVID-19 and the lockdown. A year zero in which to rethink an event with a 72-year history, on the basis of a precise starting point: to continue to support the cinema in all its forms.
As a front-ranking cultural event on the Swiss and International scene, the Locarno Film Festival has a duty to support all the players contributing day to day to the enrichment of culture and its dissemination. This strong commitment is reflected clearly each year in the actions of the Festival, ranging from strictly artistic choices to decisions on the numerous ancillary projects of the event’s various annual sections.
The Locarno Film Festival is also a major rendez-vous for professionals and emerging talents in the film industry, thanks to the bouquet of initiatives dedicated to them as part of Locarno Pro and Locarno Young.
Social responsibility at la Mobiliare
La Mobiliare, an insurance company with a cooperative structure, has been engaged on behalf of Swiss society since 1826. The initiatives supported by la Mobiliare include research projects at the Universities of Berne, ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne. It also incentivizes and launches new projects in the fields of culture and sustainability: Atelier du Futur has fostered a range of new and stimulating ideas from young people, while MoBees has set up a country-wide project dedicated to bees. Another key commitment is providing funds for schemes to prevent natural and environmental risks in various regions across Switzerland, while with Forum Mobiliare Thun a successful platform has been set up to strengthen the innovative impact of SMEs and NGOs.