Welcome to the Locarno Film Festival
A community for creating relevant imaginaries of our times

The world capital of auteur cinema

Over the course of its 75-year history, the Locarno Film Festival has become one of the most important film events in the world, in one of the most charming locations. Situated between the lake and the mountains, every summer the entire Swiss-Italian city, in the heart of Europe, turns into the capital of international cinema, bringing the most innovative visions to the screen. It’s eleven days of stars, new talents, professionals and, most importantly, the audience.

I’ve never seen anything like this!

A dreamlike location
Situated between the Alps and Lake Maggiore, the region that houses the Festival is absolutely phenomenal. It’s a place of endless discoveries in terms of landscapes and art, which make cinema one of the many forms of magic of the Locarno Film Festival, to be experienced over the course of eleven unforgettable days.

In Locarno, cinema means discovery

Discovering a film, a director, a talent who will be the talk of the town tomorrow. In Locarno, cinema means experimentation, dialogue, new forms, and training; it’s a vast horizon in which to get lost and then recover, or discover, one’s own taste, passion and love for that magic made of light.

With its competitions and various sections, the Locarno Film Festival is the house and screen for endless stories and storytelling modes. It’s where one can discover new voices and gestures. Our greatest pleasure is bringing them to you, the audience


Discover the sections

Locarno is for those who truly love cinema. That’s the starting point, everything else is secondary. And that’s rare nowadays.

75 years of great cinema

In Locarno, cinema is also surprises, such as being face to face with those who are already stars: for years, they’ve made us fall in love, cry, die laughing or stay glued to our seats. Because in Locarno, the stars are at eye level. They’re the red carpet, they’re Piazza Grande, they’re the photographers’ flashes, as well as lunchtime chats, masterclasses, and surprising encounters.

Locarno’s status as a house of cinema is confirmed by its history: 75 years’ worth of encounters with Marlene Dietrich and Hilary Swank, Jean-Luc Godard and Quentin Tarantino, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Christopher Lee, Melanie Griffith and Isabelle Huppert, Edward Norton, and Alberto Sordi, among others. They are the faces at the crossroads between the stories on screen, the history of cinema and the history of Locarno. These stories renew themselves every year and remain unforgettable.

Discover the Palmarès

You can’t describe it, words don’t do it justice. You just have to come and experience it.

Here We Build the Future

Every year, with the key players of the industry, the Locarno Film Festival imagines and takes part in the future of cinema. It achieves this by devoting itself to the audiences of tomorrow, by training young professionals, and by expanding its gaze towards the entire creative horizon of a generation that feels the urgency of sharing their own view of the world.  

Discover the Locarno Young universe


Beyond cinema: a unique experience

The Locarno Film Festival starts before and ends after each screening. The Locarno Film Festival, like every real city, is made of encounters, parties, art in all its forms; it’s a collection of unique spaces and moments, a dip in the lake during the day and a live concert at night. And the night of Locarno embodies the spirit of a city that doesn’t sleep for eleven days a year.

Locarno is Locarno: a unique, inimitable experience, of a small town that becomes a massive cinema, of an event that brings together the international film industry and uses the same space, the Piazza with its black and yellow chairs, to greet institutional spokespeople, great masters, young filmmakers, and families

National symbol of creativity

Piazza Grande, with its 8,000 chairs, has become one of the symbols of Switzerland, hence its addition to the 20-franc banknote in 2016. Every day, the image lives in everyone’s pockets and hands, and while on the one hand it’s an important acknowledgement, on the other it’s also a responsibility. Towards culture, cinema, its talents, and those who sit in that Piazza every night: the viewers.



A history of great partnerships

Our partners, both public and private, make possible the organization of the Locarno Film Festival. In renewing their support year after year, they show their confidence in the Festival and the sharing of its values, becoming key players, with us, of culture and of our region.

A Story of Responsibility

Imagining and then crafting each new edition of the Locarno Film Festival is not just an exciting challenge, but also a responsibility. A social, financial and environmental one, which we shared in detail with our audience for the first time in 2021.

Read our Sustainability Report





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