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The Locarno Film Festival is pleased to announce the birth of a new space for heritage cinema, thanks to Heritage Online, the service developed by Locarno Pro in 2020 to facilitate the distribution of films from the past on new digital channels. Artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro has in fact selected a number of precious restorations that will be offered to the audience at Locarno74 and subsequently in the Heritage Online database, dedicated to potential distributors and programmers. The initiative marks the start of new collaborations with partners such as Filmo.ch and the Cinémathèque suisse for Swiss heritage films, and L'Immagine Ritrovata and Éclair Classics for international films.
The Locarno Film Festival is not only a place for the discovery of new talents in cinema and the moving image, but also a space for the rediscovery of heritage films, put into a more attentive and fruitful dialogue with new forms of film consumption. The work already carried out in this sense by the Festival’s Retrospective and by sections such as Histoire(s) du cinéma and Cinéma suisse redécouvert was enriched in 2020 thanks to the Locarno Pro Heritage Online project, which guarantees heritage films a visibility suitable for our time and its technological challenges. Therefore, this new project opens greater possibilities for restoration institutions and rights holders to find potential distributors, both in the VOD sector and elsewhere.
This year the synergy between Locarno Pro and the artistic direction is further strengthened thanks to Heritage Online: Locarno Film Festival artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro has in fact selected several titles that will be presented to the public during Locarno74. These titles will then go on to join the Heritage Online database, integrating into the Online Screening Room, a virtual environment where films are available for viewing by potential distributors. This selection was made possible through new or enhanced partnerships forged by Heritage Online.
Giona A. Nazzaro, artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival: “Cinema is always in the present. All cinema exists only if it finds the possibility to interact with the present time. Knowledge of the cinema of the past breeds the generations of cinema of the future. The collaboration between the artistic direction and Locarno Pro's commitment to heritage cinema is an exciting adventure whose potential is all to be explored and responds to the desire for cinema and knowledge not only of those passionate about film but also, and above all, of the new generation of spectators who look at the so-called images of "yesterday" with the eyes of today."
Markus Duffner, head of Locarno Pro: “We’re delighted to see the first concrete results of our newly introduced project Heritage Online, which alongside of the Locarno Film Festival Artistic Direction, aims at increasing the international distribution of classic and library films and starting their new commercial life.”
In addition to screenings for Locarno74 audiences during the Festival, the titles will enjoy visibility for international distributors thanks to their presence on the Heritage Online platform. Industry accreditation will give access to the Heritage Online database for 12 months.
The 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place from 4 to 14 August 2021. The Festival team is currently working, in full compliance with official health and sanitary guidelines, towards a physical 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.
Heritage Online is a digitally-based service dedicated to extending the outreach and distribution of Heritage Films through Video on Demand, expanding the range of titles offered by such services.
It offers film professionals a year-round database where streamers (and other buyers) are able to watch available titles, consult their detailed technical information – including availability of films in the various territories – and get in touch directly with rights holders. Thanks to Heritage Online, rights holders (international sales agents, film libraries, archives, institutes, and restorers’ associations among others) are able to share their catalogues with potential clients: VOD broadcasters from all over the world, ranging from generalist to niche offerings, from established names to emerging start-ups.