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The audiences of tomorrow? Let's entrust that subject to those who will expect them in the theater. The Locarno Film Festival is launching U30, a new project born under the tutelage of Locarno Pro. It will give a voice to the new generation of filmmakers, wondering about a topic that hits close to home: The audience of the future.
Once again, the Festival is thinking in the future: to understand today in which direction we will go tomorrow, so as not to be found unprepared. The protagonists of the journey are 24 young people under 30 coming from the Locarno Industry Academy International, which the Festival organizes and lives around the world throughout the year. So young film industry professionals from Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, to which will be added peers from Africa and Asia, ready to live a three-day event designed specifically for them, from 9 to 11 August.
In a society witnessing rapid change in audiovisual consumption patterns, the new generation of film professionals will have an enormous impact on the industry of the future. They will need to face constant innovation, embracing new technologies and above all developing ways of keeping demand focused on auteur cinema, for which the traditional audience has radically altered its audiovisual viewing and purchasing habits, in the age of streaming platforms, smartphones and social media.
Nadia Dresti, Head of Locarno Pro: “This initiative raises a number of questions, but the most urgent is: do young people have to follow the business models developed by the film industry, or should not rather the film industry, both Hollywood and the rest of the world, be adapting to the countless ways in which audiovisual content can be consumed today?”
U30 is conceived as a platform offering a space for young professionals wanting to voice their concerns on highly topical issues. The program will act as a think tank aimed at stimulating the exchange of views and promoting analysis of new strategies to face the challenges of the future. Participants will also be invited to explore the other Locarno Pro initiatives, enhancing the opportunities for networking and synergies with other industry attendees in Locarno.
U30 Project Manager Marcello Paolillo: “In the run-up to the event we carried out a survey of participants, asking them specifically “What are the most critical aspects of the film industry that you feel must change in the near future?” All the replies we received were extremely interesting, and despite the huge variety of issues cited they all had one thing in common: the need for independent cinema to find new strategies and a new approach in order to reach its audience. That’s why we decided to make the keynote theme of the various U30 sessions “The Audience of the Future”, in all its multiple perspectives: from theatrical distribution to marketing, from relations with content platforms to the role of film festivals and markets.”
The project is tied to this edition of the Festival, Locarno72, and is implemented with support from the Federal Office of Culture (FOC)/MEDIA Desk Switzerland.
The full list of selected participants and more informations here.