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History is today. Francis Reusser, Youssef Chahine, Alberto Lattuada: thanks to Heritage Online, great directors and chapters of film history get to leave the archives and be part of the official program of the Locarno Film Festival, and beyond. Thanks to the bond between Locarno Pro and the Artistic Committee, Heritage Online can provide a gateway to film history, with the essential help of Cinématèque suisse, Filmo.ch, L’Immagine Ritrovata and Éclair Classics.
The platform, which was launched by Locarno Pro last year to bridge the gap between cinema history’s heritage and today’s audiences, will showcase three beautiful restorations during the upcoming edition: Francis Reusser’s Derborence (1985), courtesy of the Cinémathèque suisse; Youssef Chahine’s Al-massir (Destiny, 1997), courtesy of Éclair Classics; and Alberto Lattuada’s Il mulino del Po (The Mill on the Po, 1949), courtesy of L’Immagine Ritrovata on behalf of Cineteca di Bologna Foundation. The last of these will be part of the Locarno74 Retrospective, focusing on the Milan-born director, while Al-massir (Destiny) will screen in the section Histoire(s) du cinéma – Heritage Online. Derborence will be shown in Cinéma suisse redécouvert – Heritage Online, and from August 19 it will be available on Filmo.ch, in an HD version complete with a new trailer and subtitles in all four of Switzerland’s national languages. After this year’s edition, the three films will also be included in the Heritage Online database, available exclusively to distributors and programmers who deal with heritage films.
Giona A. Nazzaro, artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival: “Cinema is always in the present. All cinema exists only if it finds the possibility to interact with the present time. Knowledge of the cinema of the past breeds the generations of cinema of the future. The collaboration between the artistic direction and Locarno Pro's commitment to heritage cinema is an exciting adventure whose potential is all to be explored and responds to the desire for cinema and knowledge not only of those passionate about film but also, and above all, of the new generation of spectators who look at the so-called images of "yesterday" with the eyes of today."
Markus Duffner, head of Locarno Pro: “We’re delighted to see the first concrete results of our newly introduced project Heritage Online, which alongside of the Locarno Film Festival Artistic Direction, aims at increasing the international distribution of classic and library films and starting their new commercial life.”
And that’s not all. These three films will inaugurate a new strategy of keeping an open communications channel between film history and the audience, a hallway connecting past and present thanks to new partners who can broaden the horizon of screenings and views. It’s a network of connections and knowledge, shared by institutions that are vital for safeguarding cinema heritage and keeping it alive in the audience’s eyes, with Heritage Online as the main tool.