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Seven of them are in Venice, and there are forty-one standing with FIAPF. The Festivals are present, and they're raising their hand. Within hours, the most important film festivals in the world, including Locarno, wanted to not only confirm their presence in a culturally and cinematically difficult year, but also formally ask for support, so they can continue to exist alongside the industry.
During these first hours of the 77th Venice Film Festival, seven major festival directors are together in Venice, to highlight the importance of cinema in a year that was hit by a pandemic. These include Alberto Barbera (Venice), Thierry Fremaux (Cannes), Vanja Kaludjercic (Rotterdam), Karel Och (Karlovy Vary), José Luis Rebordinos (San Sebastian), Carlo Chatrian (Berlino) e Lili Hinstin. Yes, Locarno is also there, through its Artistic Director, to show its support.
In the meantime, FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) published a document, signed 41 international film festivals, asking national, regional and local institutions to make sure their role is preserved and supported. It's a central role in terms of culture, with 1700 films receiving world premieres at these festivals in 2017 alone, but there's also a financial aspect, since that same year had an attendance of 4.5 million viewers at the same festivals, with obvious boosts for local economies.
In short, Festivals are there and, as proven by Locarno 2020 - For the Future of Films, their frontline position remains the same when dealing with an unusual year of crisis that forced them to make sacrifices and rethink their strategies. And to keep being there, to keep cinema and its makers going, they need trust and support.