The Locarno Critics Academy is the Festival's initiative open to ten young aspiring film critics, four from Switzerland and six from other countries around the world.
What is the Critics Academy?
A training program from the Locarno Film Festival dedicated to young film critics.
A place for encounters and exchange, where new ideas take shape and collaborations get off the ground.
A unique opportunity to experience the Locarno Film Festival hands-on and close-up, taking part in a specially created program of roundtables and workshops with Festival guests, international film critics, and industry attendees in Locarno.
In the past few years alone, Locarno Critics Academy participants have had the chance to interact directly with major figures from the world of festivals and criticism: from legendary writers and thinkers like Laura Mulvey, Bernard Eisenschitz, and Miguel Marías, to festival directors like Giona Nazzaro (Artistic Director, Locarno Film Festival), Carlo Chatrian (Artistic Director, Berlinale), and Eva Sangiorgi (Artistic Director, Viennale), to working critics and editors like Eric Kohn (IndieWire), Jessica Kiang (Variety), Devika Girish (Film Comment), and Daniel Kasman (MUBI), or some of the key filmmakers of our time, such as Bong Joon-ho, Kelly Reichardt, Abel Ferrara, John Waters, Maren Ade, and Todd Haynes. In addition, participants will have a chance to publish their articles on aspects of the Festival program in leading international journals, newspapers and magazines. The Academy provides an opportunity to hone your skills in covering the ongoing edition of the Festival, reviewing films in the official selection, writing features on ancillary events or in-depth analysis on individual sections and sidebars, or interviewing guests of the Festival and Locarno Pro.
Am I the right kind of candidate for the Critics Academy?
What is the perfect candidate profile?
Age from 18 to 35.
Fluent knowledge of spoken and written English – you will need this to write about the Festival and interact with all the other Academy participants and guests at Locarno.
Passionate about cinema and, at the same time, keen to engage with the other participants in exploring new forms for writing about and discussing film.
Demonstrated interest in writing about movies, even just self-published online.
What documentation should be included with my application?
In addition to your personal data you will be asked to supply:
Your CV in English.
A portfolio of your experience as a critic to date, with samples and links to articles, publications and/or other media in which you have talked about film.
A motivational letter explaining your commitment to cinema and your reasons for being a candidate. What are your objectives, interests and expectations, and what will you bring to the Academy?
An ID photo for your accreditation, should you be selected.
Which dates do I need to put in my diary and keep free if selected?
28 March 2023 – application process opens
7 May 2023 – deadline for sending in your application
5 June 2023 – after this date you will receive an answer in respect of your application
1-12 August 2023 – participation in the Locarno Film Festival
If I am selected, what can I expect in Locarno?
We can tell you right now it will be a unique experience, and we’re also pretty confident that you’ll enjoy it.
The Festival offers you:
Accommodation with breakfast at the Locarno Youth Hostel (from Tuesday 1 to Saturday 12 August), in a twin-bedded room. Every participant will have to share a twin room with one other participant.
Press accreditation that gives admission to all official screenings at the Locarno Film Festival, plus dedicated screenings and activities for journalists.
Participation in the program of meetings and workshops organized by the Critics Academy.
Food vouchers to be used at participating restaurants.
Access to networking events and parties during the Festival.
Travel to and from the Festival will be payable by the participants themselves. Food vouchers cover a fixed amount in CHF per day, so participants will have to pay the outstanding balance for each meal.
If all of the above meets your expectations, then you’re ready to fill in the application form and become a candidate.
The program, which includes panel discussions with Festival guests and workshops with film journalists, editors, publicists and other professionals present in Locarno, is designed to introduce future film critics to the international film industry.
In addition to this workshop dimension, participants have the opportunity of publishing articles about the Festival program in important international magazines. Participants can thus broaden their skills by trying their hand at a journalistic coverage of the ongoing edition of the Festival, writing reviews of films in the official selection, articles on side events, in-depth reflections on the various sections of the program, and interviews with Festival guests.
During the workshops of the Locarno Academy one's idea of cinema inevitably changes, gets enriched, and becomes more nuanced by the workshops and conversations with the diverse group of international guests. Yet, Locarno Academy has an even more enduring quality. It allows the participant to engage with others who share a perception of cinema in the most intense and free way possible.