News from the Locarno Festival

Roman Polanski Gives Up on Locarno - A Sad Day


After several rainy days, today the sun shines in Locarno, but for me it is the darkest day since I have been asked to be the director of this Festival.

The decision of Roman Polanski to decline my invitation saddens me deeply.

Today I am sad because the participants of the Festival del film Locarno will be deprived of meeting an extraordinary artist, who embraced our proposal of giving a unique Cinema masterclass.

I am sad because the audience of the Piazza Grande won’t be able to salute a Master of Cinema. I am sad because the idea of the Festival as a meeting and debating place today receives a big blow.

I have the greatest respect for freedom of expression for everyone and I have decided to listen to every criticism with the right attention.

I feel that this time some positions have crossed boundaries, and through verbal violence and manipulation of reality, they have become an unacceptable attack to personal dignity.

I understand and respect the decision of Roman Polanski. I sincerely hope that this missed opportunity for growth won’t sound like a victory for those who want to bridle the Festival, but becomes a platform to relaunch it as a space for hospitality and freedom.

Carlo Chatrian

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