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The Festival of the future, such was the subject of the General Assembly of the Locarno Film Festival, which took place today via livestream, as per current health directives. It was about the imminent future, and what will come after that. The former is the 74 edition of the Locarno Film Festival, scheduled for August. It’s an edition that the Assembly, presided over by Marco Solari, wishes to experience in Piazza Grande and in the city, with the audience. This edition, the first for the new Artistic Director Giona A. Nazzaro, who outlined his vision during the Assembly, that can act as an incentive and rebirth for the entirety of Swiss culture.
Having confirmed that the entire team is working with the authorities to safely bring back the Piazza this summer, the Assembly then moved on to the overall future of the Festival. Said future intends to expand the event beyond the standard eleven days, to create a constant, strong presence that takes into account the new territories in which culture and the audiovisual are moving. To achieve this goal and build its own future, the Festival wishes to go further in embracing sustainability, thus confirming its focus on the territory, new generations, its partners and the environment, as detailed in the first sustainability report, which was presented at the Assembly and opened up the topic of the film festival universe. The Locarno Film Festival was guided throughout the process of conceiving, drafting and revising the sustainability report by researchers Caterina Carletti and Jenny Assi of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI).
“We want to strengthen our international orientation, lock sustainability into every aspect of our thinking, and strategically increase our year-round presence even further, both physically and online, alongside the traditional summer event. The re-opening of the Piazza Grande, the heart of the Locarno Film Festival, in August this year is absolutely indispensable for us.” – Marco Solari, President of the Locarno Film Festival.
“Locarno and the Piazza Grande must take up once again their leading roles in film and culture. Our objective is a Festival capable of tackling head-on the multiple transformations affecting the audio-visual sector, and of responding creatively to the demands of the new audiences. A Festival able to join the conversation with the film industry and its new key players, and perfectly placed to take on the task of identifying which shapes and forms the many possible futures may take.” – Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival.
Closing instead on the recent past, to better focus on future challenges, COO Raphaël Brunschwig showcased the example of an unpredictable 2020 and laid out the challenges for 2021.
“From an operational point of view the situation is currently under control, despite the extremely difficult circumstances. Our public and private sector partners have stood by us, and thanks to them and our great staff we are in a good place to come back strongly this summer, as we all hope will be possible. In addition, the crisis itself has given added momentum to the transition towards a new phase in the Festival’s development, which over the next few years will see solid and consistent expansion of our activities beyond the traditional timeframe and geographical boundaries of the summer event.” – Raphaël Brunschwig, Chief Operating Officer of the Locarno Film Festival.
Furthermore, the Assembly appointed a new Board member: Nadia Dresti, former Head of Locarno Pro and interim Artistic Director, now the Festival’s International Relations Advisor.