Locarno in L.A.
Acropolis cinema and the Locarno Festival announce new collaborative venture and film festival: Locarno in Los Angeles (21-23 April 2017)
A three-day event with screenings of films presented at last year's edition of the festival. The event is organised by Acropolis Cinema – and it is the first time since 1974 that a major European festival is seeing its programme taken up in the City of Angels.
Acropolis Cinema, Los Angeles’ newest screening series dedicated to experimental and undistributed films, announces a collaboration with Switzerland’s Locarno Festival that will bring ten features from the most recent edition of the Locarno Festival to downtown Los Angeles for a new three-day festival. Running from April 21-23 at the Downtown Independent cinema, the inaugural edition of Locarno in Los Angeles will include ten Los Angeles premieres, two panel discussions comprised of a variety of critics, programmers, and representatives from both Acropolis and the Locarno Festival, with a closing reception following the last screening of each day.
With the generous support of the Swiss Consulate General in Los Angeles, Locarno in Los Angeles is an unprecedented event, the first of its kind in the city. Curated by Acropolis founder Jordan Cronk and co-artistic director Robert Koehler, the festival’s main program is comprised of a hand-selected group of films from the 69th Locarno Festival’s Competition, Signs of Life, and Filmmakers of the Present programs, with ten films representing no less than nine different countries. Opening the festivities on April 21 is Hermia & Helena, the latest feature from Argentinian director Matías Piñeiro, whose first US-set film is a funny and touching riff on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In person at festival will be Baltimore’s Theo Anthony, whose first feature, the wildly inventive and topical documentary Rat Film, has been chosen as the festival’s Centerpiece Selection. Other titles include German director Angela Schanelec’s radically told The Dreamed Path, Bosnian filmmaker Dane Komljen’s mesmerizing All the Cities of the North, the near-wordless desert saga The Challenge, by Italy’s Yuri Ancarani, and young Argentine director Eduardo Williams’ lavishly acclaimed debut The Human Surge. Closing the festival on April 23 will be the latest feature by Romania’s Radu Jude, Scarred Hearts, an epic tale of tragic romance set in a sanitarium along the coast of the Black Sea in 1930s Romania. Additional guests and a supplemental program of short films, likewise drawn from the Locarno 69 lineup, will be announced in the coming weeks.
“Locarno Festival in Los Angeles, with its bold selection, well represents the soul of the festival, which is to look ahead, giving voice to the renewal movement of cinema,” says Locarno Festival artistic director Carlo Chatrian. “I salute Acropolis Cinema for this first edition which I hope will turn out to be a starting point for a even stronger connection between a small Swiss village that for 10-days becomes a capital of indie cinema and a city worldwide recognized as the capital of cinema.” Locarno Festival’s head of programming Mark Peranson, who will be on hand to introduce screenings, sit on panels, and discuss the exciting opportunities Locarno in Los Angeles offers both local audiences and the festival’s parent organization, echoes these sentiments: “When seen as a whole,” he states, “the films featured in this first Locarno Festival in Los Angeles prove the continued importance of Locarno as the most adventurous and contemporary of the major European festivals. To be able to bring this selection to Los Angeles is an honor and a privilege, and I look forward to the reactions this year, and in the years to come.”
Co-organized with the Swiss Consulate General as part of a countrywide “swisstouch” event series, Locarno in Los Angeles will help strengthen and diversify the local arts community by showcasing a variety of world cinema titles currently without Los Angeles distribution. “When we conceived of bringing Los Angeles audiences a curated selection of one of the most important festivals, we were thinking of the city and its adventurous film community,” says Koehler. “Now is time to bring to Los Angeles not just a taste but a generous serving of the riches of the Locarno Festival, the site of many of the most important contemporary discoveries in world cinema. When you consider that the festival is covering in just three days no less than four major young Latin American filmmakers, experimental non-fiction about everything from American urban development to Arab culture in the high-tech age, important and yet underseen European filmmakers like Angela Schanelec and Radu Jude, and incredible breakthrough works from such disparate nations as Bosnia and Japan, well, audiences are in for quite an experience this April.”
Finally, the festival’s two expert roundtable discussions will take place during the afternoons of April 22 and 23, on the rooftop terrace of the Downtown Independent, with panel participants seated around a specially designed “high-tech+high-touch” Swiss-made table. Along with three evening receptions featuring a selection of Ticino wine and beer, the first edition of Locarno in Los Angeles promises to bring a tantalizing taste of one of the world’s best film festivals to Los Angeles for a one-of-a-kind new event.
Tickets and special multi-film packages will go on sale March 17, 2017. Please visit www.locarnoinlosangeles.com for more details.