Press Releases  ·  23 | 02 | 2023

L’immagine e la parola 2023: history and and audiovisual memories

From 11 to 12 March at the GranRex theater in Locarno, L’immagine e la parola, the Locarno Film Festival spring-time event presented by Swisscom, will be celebrating its ten year anniversary. Titled “Images of History: the intersection of Research and Creation”, the program will explore the rapport between the past and the images that tell its story. Romanian director Radu Jude, winner of the Berlinale Golden Bear in 2021, will lead a panel conversation on archival images with historian Carlo Ginzburg, and will be joined by critics, cultural operators and young filmmakers. Rounding off the program will be the usual offering for families and younger moviegoers, with a dedicated screening and workshop, plus the start of the 2023 Spring Academy.

Now in its tenth edition, L’immagine e la parola looks back into the past and rediscovers it with new eyes. The spring-time event that weaves together film, literature and non-fiction writing will focus on the rapport between history and images. It’s a crucial topic for today and a source of inspiration for many writers and filmmakers, including Radu Jude, one of the most innovative European directors of recent years, whose work has investigated the revision and denial of the darker sides of his home country of Romania. Jude and his two most representative films to date will set the keynote for the program of screenings and discussions that unfolds across the weekend of the event.


On 11 March at 2 pm the GranRex theater will host the inaugural masterclass “Missing Images: On Festivals, Essay films and Untold Histories”, held by Kevin B. Lee, Locarno Film Festival Professor for the Future of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts at Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) supported by Swisscom. The masterclass will be in English with simultaneous translation in Italian. It will be followed at 3.30 pm by a presentation of three short films that adopt different strategies in the use of archival footage to reconfigure the historical narrative: A History of the World According to Getty Images (2022) by filmmaker and researcher Richard Misek, Potemkinitsii (The Potemkinists, 2022) by Radu Jude and Nazarbazi (نظربازی, 2022) by Iranian filmmaker Maryam Tafakory. After the screenings, the three filmmakers will join a discussion moderated by Professor Lee. At 6 pm, again in the GranRex, there will be a discussion session on “Film Archives Between Conservation, Dissemination and Reinvention”: this debate on conservation practices for film heritage will be led by Gian Luca Farinelli, head of the Cineteca di Bologna, and Paola Malanga, artistic director of the Rome Film Fest, in conversation with the artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival, Giona A. Nazzaro. The evening will continue at 9 pm with a screening of the film for which Radu Jude won the Golden Bear in Berlin in 2021: Babardeală cu bucluc sau porno balamuc (Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, 2021).


On Sunday 12 March, the day’s program will open at the GranRex at 10.30 am with a masterclass held jointly by director Radu Jude and editor Cătălin Cristuțiu. At 4 pm Jude will be joined by Carlo Ginzburg, author of the recent study Rapporti di forza. Storia, retorica, prova and one of the founders of Microhistory, for a discussion on archive footage and editing in history and cinema. The talk will be followed by a screening of Jude’s film Îmi este indiferent dacă în istorie vom intra ca barbari (I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians, 2018), which returns to one the darkest moments of Romania’s past, the ethnic cleansing along the Eastern front in 1941.


As always, the weekend’s program will also include attractions for the family audience, with Locarno Kids la Mobiliare and the collaboration of Cinemagia: on Saturday 11 March from 2 pm at the PalaCinema in Locarno there will be the Locarno Kids Lab, a hands-on animation workshop for kids with Alessia Tamagni, while on Sunday 12 March at 10 am, again at the PalaCinema, there will be a screening of the brilliant gem of modern animation Princes et princesses (1999) by Michel Ocelot, a refined and atmospheric fable inspired by the technique of shadow puppetry. Ocelot’s own video introduction will be shown before the film.


Discover the complete program of events at L’immagine e la parola.

Admission to all screenings and events is free, but for masterclasses participants must register through the Festival’s website.

Spring Academy 2023 gets under way with “Find a Film!”

One of the hallmarks of L’immagine e la parola is its close ties with the Spring Academy, the Locarno Academy spin-off organized in concert with the CISA film school. This year’s ten-day masterclass is titled Find a Film!: a suggestion that the participants will be taking up under the guidance of mentor Radu Jude, delving into the archives of broadcaster RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera to come up with new short films. Their training pathway will stretch from 10 to 19 March, starting Friday 10th at 6 pm in Locarno’s Spazio Elle, where the successful workshop applicants will be in the theater to watch screenings of their own previously completed short films. That will be the start of a journey to discover images of the past and to see the city and surrounding region with new eyes amid the over-arching themes of history, natural environment, politics and society. The ten short films made by the ten young international filmmakers will also be presented at the 76th Locarno Film Festival.

The filmmakers selected for the workshop are:

Bohao Liu, Federico Frefel, Coline Confort, Zhenia Kazankina, Slava Doytcheva, Andrea Gatopoulos, Diego Andres Murillo, Jumana Issa, Alessandro Garbuio and Chiara Toffoletto, Ambra Guidotti.

For profiles of the participants, visit the Locarno Film Festival website.

L’immagine e la parola presented by Swisscom and the Spring Academy are organized by the Locarno Film Festival and the CISA film school, in co-production with RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera, with the support of the Ticino Film Commission and invaluable backing from PalaCinema Locarno, Enjoy Arena, Hotel Du Lac, Hertz and Fondazione Majid.

The program is curated by Daniela Persico, under the artistic direction of Giona A. Nazzaro. 

L’immagine e la parola stands alongside FestivaLLibro (02.03 -11.03) and the Eventi letterari Monte Verità (30.02 - 02.04) in the rich cultural offering in and around Locarno this coming Spring.

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