At its meeting on Wednesday 4 November 2020, the Board of Directors of the Locarno Film Festival decided unanimously to appoint Giona A. Nazzaro as the new Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival.
Giona A. Nazzaro has been General Delegate of the International Film Critics’ Week at the Venice Film Festival since 2016 and is a member of the artistic committee of IFFR – International Film Festival Rotterdam. Born in Zurich in 1965, he has a degree in German and English Language and Literature. From 2010 to 2020 he was a programmer and curator on the selection committee of the Visions du Réel Festival in Nyon, and he has also collaborated with the Locarno Film Festival, as a moderator. Nazzaro has worked with several other film festivals, including the Turin Film Festival, the Rome Film Fest and the Festival dei Popoli in Florence. He has written and curated monographic studies on directors such as Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee and Abel Ferrara. As editor of a number of volumes he effectively introduced the study of Hong Kong cinema to Italy and has also conducted research in new strategies for serial narration in television. With an interest in new technologies in film and the arts, he is a professor of Media Design and MultiMedia Arts at NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti). He trained as a journalist and writes for a range of international titles. He is also a member of the Federal Commission of Cinema.
Locarno President Marco Solari declared: “In Giona A. Nazzaro we have an ideal match for the artistic profile of the Locarno Film Festival. Expert and knowledgeable, already perfectly familiar with Locarno, equipped with the planning skills for our Festival’s indispensable future innovations in the digital environment, a person who has an international mindset but also strong ties to Ticino and Switzerland.”
Giona A. Nazzaro commented on his appointment: “It is an honor to direct the Locarno Film Festival, an institution which has always prioritized quality, auteur filmmaking and which today more than ever is a vital hotbed of ideas, looking creatively to the future of the moving image. I will be setting straight to work in the hope of being able to re-open the Piazza Grande, the beating heart of the Festival and an iconic symbol of the resilience of cinema.”
Giona A. Nazzaro will take up his post officially with effect from 1st January 2021, but will commence work immediately alongside Nadia Dresti, interim head of artistic direction until the end of December 2020. Nadia Dresti will continue as coordinator in charge of Locarno Pro in the early months of 2021, pending further announcements.
The 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place from 4 to 14 August 2021. Details of the format of the event will be finalized progressively, in keeping with biosecurity requirements and national regulations.
Giona A. Nazzaro, born Zurich, Switzerland, 1965. General Delegate of the International Film Critics’ Week at the Venice Film Festival. Member of the artistic committee of IFFR – International Film Festival Rotterdam (2020). Programmer and curator on the selection committee of the Visions du Réel Festival in Nyon (2010-2020). Previous collaborations with the Locarno Film Festival, and as programmer and selector with the following festivals: Torino Cinema Giovani, Festival dei Popoli, Rome Film Fest. Co-creator and curator of the exhibition “Il di/segno del cinema” (Cagliari, 2015) at the Cagliari Civic Museums. Author and curator of monographic studies on Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee and Abel Ferrara. A pioneer in the study of Hong Kong cinema in Italy, as editor of the volumes Il cinema di Hong Kong - Spade, kung fu, pistole, fantasmi (Le mani, 1997), John Woo - La nuova leggenda del cinema d'azione (Castelvecchi, 2000) and Il dizionario dei film di Hong Kong (Universitaria Editrice, 2005). His book Action - Forme di un transgenere cinematografico (Le mani, 2000) won the Barbaro/Filmcritica Prize. His fiction debut was A Mon Dragone c'è il Diavolo (Perdisa Pop, 2010). Member of the National Union of Italian Film Critics (SNCCI). Journalist and publicist. A regular contributor to il manifesto, Film Tv, Micromega and other online and traditional media titles. He was one of the founders of the film monthly Sentieri selvaggi. He is also a member of the Federal Commission of Cinema.