News  ·  14 | 03 | 2022

L’Immagine e la parola, Hugely Popular with Audiences

The ninth edition of the Locarno Film Festival’s spring event ended with massive attendance, especially from young viewers

We’d been waiting for these 48 hours for years. The ninth edition of L’immagine e la parola, curated by Daniela Persico, was surprising even for the Festival. After two years on hold, the return of the spring event in the city, at the PalaCinema in Locarno, was an overwhelming mixture of attendance, images, words, and especially faces. The two days consisted of intense encounters, of a brief but compelling program that brought together the present and the future, the yearning for cinema and the need to think about it, the local and the global. They broke new ground, with discussions about Netflix, chats with Venice, and a trip to Argentina where comic book pages meet film scenes. Combined, all the masterclasses, screenings, conversations, and Kids workshops drew just under 1000 visitors over the course of 48 hours.

Three Sold-out Masterclasses
The three Masterclasses that took place on March 12 and 13 won over the audience, with every single seat filled, whether it was a Netflix discussion with Kevin B. Lee and Gitanjali Rao, a talk about the future of festivals with Alberto Barbera and Giona A. Nazzaro, or a conversation about cinema with Michelangelo Frammartino and Renato Berta.

University in the Cinema
Kevin B. Lee brought the world of academia to the movie theater. The Locarno Film Festival Professor for the Future of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts at USI (Università della Svizzera italiana) brought one of his classes to the PalaCinema, engaging his students and other willing participants in an in-depth analysis of the present and future of the audiovisual universe in the age of Netflix. He then went into the experience of Gitanjali Rao, who joined the discussion remotely from India before the screening of her film Bombay Rose.

Cinema in the Theater
The venues were similarly full for the three screenings: Bombay Rose, Il buco, and Hugo in Argentina (preceded by a chat between director Stefano Knuchel and cartoonist Bepi Vigna), as well as Long Way North. The latter, which was part of the Locarno Kids sidebar, gave Room 3 of the PalaCinema what was perhaps its youngest morning ever, filled with children who were entranced by Rémi Chayé’s animation.

A Young Event
The ninth edition of L’immagine e la parola was, most of all, a young success. Numerous young people, be they students or kids, took part in the event, providing it with its lowest median age ever. And for twelve of these people, who are taking part in the Spring Academy with Michelangelo Frammartino, the adventure has only just begun.

L’immagine e la parola showed the Festival, the city, and the attendees that there’s a yearning for cinema, meetings, and discovery; there’s a yearning for being there. And we will be there. See you on August 3, in Piazza Grande, at Locarno75.