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The 2019 edition of First Look, the Locarno Film Festival section about works in progress, has picked Serbia and some that will hopefully be some of its most important upcoming works. The Project Manager, Markus Duffner, explained the selection’s criterion: «The primary goal is to match the artistic and commercial side of a project. Valuing both the variety and the quality of Serbian culture, we picked one fiction feature and five documentaries, a precise sign that Serbia is deeply connected to its past.»
Attempting to look into the future of movies and documentaries, First Look gives a fundamental opportunity to a huge range of projects: «Every work selected can be in a different stage of development: some are still in the shooting, others can have a very lengthy editing as often happens for documentaries with a lot of archive footage. We hope the works we choose will be ready for the main Film Festivals like Sundance and Berlin for example. A Lithuanian movie we picked in 2017 is going to participate at the next Venice Film Festival in the La Settimana della Critica section. And they needed to re-shoot at least 40% of it. We are very proud of this achievement.»
Duffner also wanted to highlight the importance of Locarno Film Festival as showcase for works in progress: «Any project with the Locarno logo at its beginning, even if in an early stage like the ones we endorse, has much more chance of achieving some commercial success or a long life in specialized festivals. About First Look’s future, a lot depends on the country we select: in order to become a showcase for the territory, the collaboration with institutes is fundamental. We keep an ongoing, open dialogue with a lot of partners, in order to build a better future for every one of us.”