Developing young critics
A new generation of film critics is being developed through the Festival del film Locarno’s Summer Academy. This year, thanks to collaboration with the prestigious American masthead Indiewire, the Swiss Journalists’ Association, the Lincoln Center Film Society and the FOC (Federal Office of Culture), Locarno is welcoming a team of young people who want to develop their professional careers in film criticism. To this purpose a tailor-made workshop has been organised for them, along with the possibility of having their writings published in appropriate sections of Pardo Live under the initiative’s rubric, Critics Academy.
Of the 80 candidates who applied from 12 different countries, in the end eight were chosen, for having already distinguished themselves through the quality of their work and the enthusiastic approach they took in conveying their adventures in the world of film. It must be said however, that the selection process proved rather difficult, given the generally high standard of applicants.
Here are the names and nationalities of those who will be coming to Locarno to participate in the Critics Academy: Beatrice Behn (Germany), Zeba Blay (USA), Adam Cook (Canada), Marc Menichini (Switzerland), Michael Nordine (USA), Claudia Piwecki (Switzerland) , Ari Gunnar Thorsteinsson (Iceland) , Giovanni Vimercati (Italy).
The participants come from six different countries and different educational backgrounds, with interests ranging from mainstream Hollywood cinema to European auteur films, and various avant-gardes.
During the Festival, the participants in the Critics Academy, in addition to writing articles on films and events in the programme, in the first five days of the Locarno event, they will attend a series of meetings (coordinated by Eric Kohn and Eugene Hernandez) to discuss all the issues and challenges involved in being a film critic. These seminars will also offer an opportunity to meet other established professionals in the sector and those whose work is related to film.
All these initiatives are in line with the traditionally youthful spirit of a Festival that has always sought, in every respect, to make of the present a launch pad for the future.Lorenzo Buccella