News  ·  28 | 01 | 2022

Locarno75 Starts Today

With the new year comes also the fast-paced beginning of our path towards an important anniversary edition we wish to be memorable

The Locarno Film Festival turning 75 is an important anniversary. Not merely a number, albeit an impressive one, but the result of hard, passionate work. That work has been a key player of the 20th century. It’s spelled “Locarno”, but it’s pronounced “film history”. Last year we undertook a major task, as the first large-audience event in Switzerland to take place under normal conditions, with the addition of rigorous safety measures dictated by federal ruling. Locarno stuck to its mission of summoning the various film communities under the stars of our beloved Piazza Grande.

The results speak for themselves: almost 19,000 stories in print, and on the radio, TV, or web. And how can we forget moments that are already part of our history, like John Landis handing a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dario Argento? Or the world premiere of Mad God, the stop motion film that Phil Tippett worked on for over 30 years? Or the joy of Gleb Panfilov, who won the Pardo d’oro in 1967 for No Path Through Fire but couldn’t come to Locarno because of Soviet censorship, and finally got to set foot in Piazza Grande, aged almost 90? And yet, as we savored those moments, our minds were already looking ahead to the next Festival. And now, the countdown begins.

For such an important anniversary, we finally get to unveil the Retrospective we’ve been working on for two years. Douglas Sirk, beloved by generations of film buffs and viewers, will be celebrated in Locarno with the screenings of his complete works. Yes, it’s true: these are not easy times. Still, we look ahead without fear. Our past is the best guarantee for our future. Choosing a filmmaker like Sirk means thinking about cinema as a series of values to express in the present tense. And with that mindset, the artistic team has set out to put together a program worthy of these 75 years and to continue having an inclusive dialogue, open to the complexities that history relentlessly throws at us.

It’s a dialogue that will move, entertain, and excite the audience, to keep crafting a world capable of embracing everybody. That dialogue happens here, in our newsletter, and on our website. With the team I have the honor and pleasure of coordinating, we will take you behind the scenes for this 75th edition. Stay tuned, to gradually discover the pieces that will form the Locarno75 puzzle. We missed you. A lot. And we can’t wait to turn on the Piazza Grande lights again.  

Giona A. Nazzaro
Artistic Director