News from the Locarno Festival

Artistic Director's Blog
An editorial

Artistic Director's Blog
An editorial



Film is my language and without language I become silent and in my silence I cease to be.” - Stephen Dwoskin (1939-2012)

Before it is entertainment, a tool for knowledge, the outcome of an economic process, a product of the imagination (whether resisting or conforming to the mainstream), a film is a place where a subjective voice can make itself heard. It is an act that is at the same time bold and generous, shameless and intimate, to offer this “voice” to another “I” so that they can experience it, combining it with their own memories and emotions. This premise, apparently so absolute, is as true of independent films as it is of the “great dream factory” that unspools in the unique setting of the Piazza Grande every year.

In preparing to direct one of the festivals with the richest history, which is also one of the most courageous in its offering a platform to so many diverse forms of filmmaking, one of the most appealing, in its ability to bring professionals and film lovers together, so, rather than giving indicative examples of directors, actors, genres and works to serve as a  beacon I would rather think of the films in the festival’s 66th edition as  so many different “voices”. Each with its own language, accent and tone. Curating a festival means orchestrating this diverse soundscape into a coherent score, a kind of text whose underlying structure provides the freedom necessary for autonomous trajectories.

Just like a film, a festival also needs to find its own language. Over the last few years, Locarno has developed a voice which can modulate in response to the requirements of the specialist press (with films that challenge established categorisation) and the industry (selecting films from the festival circuit that have appealed to national distributors), the film-loving public (who have been offered a unique mix of internationally recognised films and really surprising discoveries, historical classics and films of the ‘future’) and of all those who have shared the “Piazza Grande” experience. Locarno’s voice is the continuing outcome of work that began in 1946 and that has positioned it as an invaluable sensor of all the various currents that flow through cinema. Anyone who has heard and felt this voice knows how synonymous it is with notions of freedom and independence. And whoever takes on the direction of such a festival cannot but be proud of this tradition and of taking up the baton, with their own accent and in their own words.

Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian regularly updates his personal blog:

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