The Festival

A Festival that generates and self-regenerates

by Raphaël Brunschwig

© Locarno Film Festival/Ti-Press

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The Locarno Film Festival aims to put culture at the center of societal development. It achieves this through programming films that reflect the broad spectrum of society, allowing for a range of topics to be explored and examined. On the other hand, forming public and private-sector partnerships are the commercial drivers of our festival, fostering an ongoing process of growth and regeneration for an event whose benefits are felt in the city, the region, and by the companies that align themselves with our values.

A shared vision of cinema as cultural nourishment for our community is the uniting factor that brings together support from both the public and private sector. It is in these common values and ambition that connect the five main partners of our event.

The most recent of these, Swatch, is focused on creative innovation: in addition to the Swatch First Feature award, which is given to the most surprising debut, their passion for Locarno will be brought to life with an exhibition from resident artists at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai.

Our Main partnership with UBS stretches back over 42 years and has allowed us to build an ever-stronger community. Through joint initiatives such as the Prix du Public UBS audience prize and the Audience Academy program we constantly keep ahead of the demands of future audiences. We also partnered with UBS on the redesign of our app to maximize accessibility of content, and since last year the public can enjoy our content year-round with the Futurespectives podcast.

Swisscom has been a Main partner since 1997 and together we have experimented with new ways of bringing the Festival to the public, for example, by making parts of our program accessible to those who can't be in Locarno through blue TV's free media library, blue Play. They have also made a valuable investment in knowledge for the community, with the creation of a new academic chair: the Locarno Film Festival Professor for the Future of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts at Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI).

With la Mobiliare, our Main partnership has allowed us to give greater focus to one of our most urgent missions: our commitment to nurturing the younger generation - our future audience. Through initiatives and programs dedicated to children and teenagers, such as Locarno Kids, the workshop Atelier du Futur and training experiences for young high school students. Not to mention the huge profile of La Rotonda by la Mobiliare, the space that we designed together not just for festival-goers but also for the general public.

Our fifth Main partnership, dating back to 1981, is with Ascona-Locarno tourism. In addition to sponsoring the Pardo alla carriera achievement award, they make possible the publication of the Piazza Grande Guide, a widely distributed magazine that informs attendees about the many attractions and beauty spots in the two cities and the surrounding area, focusing on what has always been a key asset of our event.

Our network of partners, which now includes over 200, help to support long-term strategic projects that continue to push the mission of the festival forward, ensuring the continued growth of a vibrant community of film lovers and a space for nurturing creative expression, discovery and personal growth.

Considering what we have achieved in recent years, in a climate of uncertainty, we can only say a huge thank you to the partners that have helped lay the foundations for our approach: ambitious and responsible, deeply rooted in the local community, but open to dialogue with the rest of the world. 

Raphaël Brunschwig
Managing Director of the Locarno Film Festival