The Locarno Film Festival is pleased to announce the appointment of Markus Duffner as Head of Locarno Pro, with effect from 1st January 2021. He will be joined in the team by Sophie Bourdon, as Deputy Head of Locarno Pro and Head of Open Doors, and by Nadia Dresti, who will continue to lend her expertise to the Festival as International Advisor.
Locarno Pro is the industry branch of the Locarno Film Festival dedicated to film professionals. From next year, as it faces the challenges set by the audiovisual of the future, Locarno Pro will be in charge of its newly appointed Head, Markus Duffner. As a regular collaborator of the event for several year, Duffner combines a deep knowledge of the Festival, its dynamics and its potential, with a rich experience of the film industry.
Duffner is German but was born and raised in Italy, where he gained degrees at Urbino University (in literature, art and foreign cultures) and at Bologna University (in film, television and multimedia production). Since 2004 he has grown his professional skills in advertising sales for the trade press (including Le film français and Cannes Market News, the official daily of the Marché du Film) and in film markets (such as The Business Street, now MIA Market). He has also collaborated with other film festivals, including the Monte-Carlo Film Festival de la Comédie and the VOICES Festival in Vologda, Russia. Since 2014 he has worked for Locarno Pro, taking charge of projects such as First Look and Match Me!, while in 2020 he became project manager of the new and highly innovative platform Heritage Online, devoted to digital distribution of classic and auteur movies — and conceived by Duffner himself. He is also behind the VOD platform Spamflix, launched in 2018, of which he is a founder member.
The 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place from 4 to 14 August 2021, with Locarno Pro running from 5 through 10 August 2021. The Festival team is currently working, in full compliance with official health and biosecurity guidelines, towards a complete event in 2021. Should those same guidelines so require, however, the Festival reserves the option to make organizational changes which will be announced to the media and the general public in due course.
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