Carte Blanche for Chile
At this year’s Festival del film Locarno, the Industry Days will focus on Chilean works-in-progress – and the STEP IN platform continues to address challenges to sales, distribution and exhibition of arthouse films in Europe
With a record number of 1,030 participants - up to 15% on 2012 – the Industry Days at the Festival del film Locarno (August 10 - 12) is ready with an extensive program for its Carte Blanche and STEP IN sections, having moved its Industry Home Base to the Rialto Theatre, “or back to the heart of the festival, the Piazza Grande,” per head of the Industry Days, Nadia Dresti.
“International buyers, sellers and festival programmers are obviously pleased with the idea that in three days they can watch the entries in the two competitions - Concorso internazionale, Concorso Cineasti del presente - and the Piazza Grande selection, and meet some of the filmmakers,” she said. “Carte Blanche and STEP IN have further added to the interest, and there are several newcomers, especially from the US and Russia.”
American first-timers include representatives Adopt Films, Kino Lorber, New Yorker Films, Shoreline Entertainment, The Cinema Guild, Traction Media and Voltage Pictures, while Russian companies GP Group, Pioner Cinema, Premium Film/CP Digital and Volga Film are also making their first Locarno appearance. Same goes for Australia’s Madman Entertainment and Canada’s Entertainment One-Les films Sévilles.
Having previously focused on Colombia and Mexico, Locarno has this year given the Carte Blanche to Chile, which will screen seven yet unfinished films at the Rialto, introduced by producers and directors, competing for a CH10,000 prize decided by an international jury. “The response has been overwhelming – we received 30 submissions for the showcase - and a delegation of 20 Chileans will come to Locarno for the first time,” added Dresti, who has worked with CinemaChile and the Australab from Valdivia on the project.
The festival will give more exposure to Chile, unspooling Chilean director Sebastián Lelio’s Gloria on the Piazza Grande. The portrait of a 58-year-old divorcee garnered Chilean actress Paulina García a Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival; Lelio, García and producer Pablo Larraín will attend the event on August 14.
Launched in 2012 with Europa International, Europa Distribution and now for the first time Europa Cinemas, the Industry Days’ STEP IN initiative brings together sales agents, distributors and exhibitors to develop new strategies for sales, distribution and exhibition of arthouse fare. Initially with a focus on Eastern and Central Europe - and followed up by similar initiatives by national festivals in the region, in Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania – but this year the closed working sessions will include all of Europe.
“It is an increasing problem for the industry that it is more and more difficult for arthouse films to be picked up by an international sales agent - accordingly they are often released in their home countries only. Especially in Eastern and Central Europe foreign auteur films rarely reach the theatres, but it seems to have become a common situation all over,” Dresti explained.
After an introduction focusing on the Russian market, the app 70 participants in the project will join round table sessions - besides continuing the discussions instigated at their 2012 meeting, they will talk about other current sales, distribution and exhibition issues, such as anti-piracy measures, MEDIA-backed pilot projects in distribution and transversal marketing experiments. The discussions will be summarised an posted on the festival’s website.Jørn Rossing Jensen