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The Locarno Film Festival has announced that its acting awards will no longer be gender-based but instead refer to new, gender-neutral performance categories. As one of the first world festivals to bring in the change, Locarno is already at work on preparing next year’s 76th edition as an even more open and inclusive event, capable of fully representing its universe of talents.
The Locarno Film Festival is a place for encounter and exchange, where the value of diversity and minority voices is recognized as one of its strongest assets. In recent years, the Festival’s commitment to a culture of inclusion and gender parity has led it past important milestones, like the 2018 signing of the Programming Pledge for Parity and Inclusion in Cinema (Locarno was the second festival in the world, and the first in Switzerland, to do so). As a result, the Festival now publishes a regular statistical survey of gender representation. In the same perspective of transparency, dialogue and exchange, Locarno has now decided to take a proactive step forward in the ongoing developments within the audiovisual industry, by introducing gender-neutral performance awards which will replace the previous prizes for male and female acting categories.
Giona A. Nazzaro, artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival: “We believe that the choice we have made will further enhance our efforts to showcase and reward talent and creativity, transcending individual categories that are now obsolete. The world is moving forward on a path that is most definitely non-binary.”
Locarno Film Festival President Marco Solari: “As President I welcome this proposal from the Artistic Director and his team, which is perfectly in tune with the changing sensibilities that are necessary today.”
At the close of the 76th edition of the Locarno Film Festival, slated for 2 to 12 August 2023, the two major competitions, the Concorso internazionale and Concorso Cineasti del presente, will each present two Pardo awards for the best performances. This amendment to the Festival’s regulations will allow every performer, irrespective of their gender identity, to compete for the awards.
An overview of the Festival’s other initiatives on behalf of inclusivity and gender parity is included in the annual report.
The 76th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place from 2 to 12 August 2023. The Festival’s official website is constantly updated with news and information.