New Authors, New Critics and New Audience
Cinema is discovery, and the main objective of a Film Festival should be proposing discoveries. Since the beginning, this is also a “leitmotif” of the Festival del film Locarno, an event where many international talents moved their first steps. According to that spirit, the Festival has always offered reflection spaces about cinema to the new generations. Today the Festival del film Locarno presents four educational initiatives collected under the name of Locarno Summer Academy.
The oldest one is called “Cinema e gioventù” (“Cinema and Youth”), supported by the Centro didattico cantonale (CDC). Founded 53 years ago, this initiative has given to more than one thousand young students the opportunity to discover cinema's inner structure and to raise vocations. This year “Cinema e gioventù” involves 32 students between the ages of 17 and 21, coming from the North Italian and Swiss upper-schools, trade schools and universities. The Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) takes part to that educational proposal with the Documentary Summer School, aimed to 20 university students of cinema, communication and audiovisual arts who will examine in depth several aspects correlated to documentaries, also through the encounter with directors of the “Semaine de la critique”.
The Critics Academy has succeeded to internationally establish itself as one of the most important events for the training of young cinema critics in only three editions. Its value is underlined by the collaboration with the US website Indiewire, the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York, the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (FOC) and the Swiss Association of Movie Critics. This year the Critics Academy registered a large number of candidacies, but only the best nine have been chosen – a small number which reveals the very selective and professional character of the program.
This year the news is represented by the Filmmakers Academy (successor of the Academy Meetings) which will host 25 young directors coming from all over the world, trying to realize their first full-length movie. For that crucial step, they will receive support for a week being in close contact with the Festival key players – cinema industry experts on various levels or great personalities like Werner Herzog.
The Locarno Summer Academy proposes itself like a knowledge transfer laboratory, hoping to contribute to the discoveries which have marked the path of the Festival del film Locarno along the years.