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Cultivating cinema. That is to sow, heal and then reap. The Locarno Film Festival is looking for ten new talents who will be the protagonists of the Spring Academy 2023, the project carried out in collaboration with CISA which accompanies young talents in the making of their first feature film. With the call opened in mid-November, we are looking for young people who can craft a film in a few days, together with an exceptional guide: the 2021 Golden Bear winner Radu Jude. A Spring Academy to make a new cinema sprout from the past. «After two editions with the sets on site, filming in the territory, we decided to work on existing material, on archives”, says Daniela Persico, Project Manager of the Spring Academy and a member of the selection committee of the Festival. “Being able to count on a partner like RSI and the opportunity to be able to work on their archives was unmissable. Whereas in the first editions directors were able to shoot together and then experience the editing phase alone, this year we wanted to reverse the scales, providing them with a huge pool of existing images, to be used according to their sensitivity during the Spring Academy, which will therefore focus on editing».
Ten talents plus one, Radu Jude.
«We know about his skill, and his generosity; after winning the Special Jury Prize in 2016 he returned to Locarno for Corti d’autore in 2021, the year in which he won the Golden Bear in Berlin, meeting the Filmmakers Academy. Now, for a project like this, he really was the ideal guide. In his films, he has always reflected on the distance between storytelling and history, between the representation of Romanian history and what really happened; he will be a companion and an invaluable gaze for these ten journeys through the RSI archives ».
Meanwhile, the short films made in 2020 and 2021 continue to travel.
«Yes, and for us it is a wonderful confirmation, it means that the project produces exactly what we hope, that is to say structured works, which get released and can take on a life of their own. Zhannat Alshanova and Paola Makes A Wish made it to Sundance, others were scheduled in Europe and last year's ones by Davide Palella and Daniel Soares will be part of the next short film night on RSI, our partner on the project. Making short films during a workshop, but within the Locarno universe and with mentors such as Béla Tarr, Michelangelo Frammartino or Radu Jude, offers the opportunity to then find films capable of traveling in your hands. And that's exactly what we're aiming for: trespassing».
In the coming days, another new project, the Residency, will cross over to Venice.
«Yes, on December 5-18 the three winners of the first edition will be guests at Palazzo Trevisan, the location of the Swiss Consulate, and over the course of ten days, thanks to a busy program of meetings, they will address the most disparate aspects of creating a feature film, from writing to production, to the directorial intent. One of their mentors will be Tatiana Leite, producer of the 2022 Pardo d’oro winner Regra 34. Then, in March, the three of them will stay in Locarno for an entire month to write the actual screenplay for the film».
A journey from shorts to features.
«We have projects like BaseCamp that accompany young talents in the years of inspiration, of school; projects with which we then encourage them to get to work, such as the Spring Academy or the Filmmakers Academy, and projects that support them in the complex journey that goes from a short film to the first feature film. The Residency, made possible thanks to the support of Swiss Life, is one of them; it is a project and vision that nurtures Locarno. Discovery, new languages, new filmmaking are the lifeblood of Locarno, of its program, of its cinema. We need them, their gazes and that which perhaps, one day, they will be able to tell us precisely with their films, in Locarno».