News from the Locarno Festival

Locarno Summer Academy


Now in its seventh year, the Locarno Summer Academy continues to grow. By now the Industry Academy “returns” to Locarno every August; while on the one hand the activities in Locarno remain a reference point for the network of contacts offered by this initiative, led by Marion Klotz and animated by Vanja Kaludjercic, on the other the IA has put down roots around the world, with activities in Mexico during the Morelia Festival, in Brazil in collaboration with Cinema do Brasil and in New York in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center during the New Directors New Films Festival. From 7 to 10 November, the IA will open up new links with southeast Europe with a workshop as part of the Thessaloniki Festival, but for now the focus is on the 10 participants selected for Locarno, who come from the Americas, Switzerland and the rest of Europe.

This year the Filmmakers Academy had double the number of applications, which arrived from all over the world. The 18 young directors selected for the LFA 2016 include six participants from the Cannes Cinéfondation Résidence, the winner of the Golden Bear for short film at the last Berlinale Festival, Leonor Teles, and one of the most promising talents working in American cinema at the moment, Reinaldo Marcus Green. The participants have been primarily attracted by the quality of the guests hosting the Academy’s private sessions, which allow the small group of Filmmakers to have a direct dialogue with heavyweight figures from the film industry. Guests this year include Roger Corman, Gaspar Noé, Albert Serra, Douglas Gordon, Jonas Mekas, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Ken Loach. The artistically stimulating meetings are combined with networking activities that in the past have led to the emergence of film projects that went on to be selected by leading international festivals. 

The Critics Academy continues to be an invaluable professional launchpad for young film critics, at both a Swiss and an international level, thanks to a programme curated by Eric Kohn, editor-in-chief of Indiewire, that skilfully mixes meetings with key figures in criticism with journalistic work carried out in real time for various international publications. The result is that every year we have the pleasure of seeing former participants returning to Locarno as fully fledged professionals. We have no doubt this will be the case once again with this year’s ten participants, made up of six international talents and four from Switzerland. 

These three sections of the Locarno Summer Academy meet and share activities, with the dream of seeing the emergence of a new generation that will carry cinema towards new forms of expression, facilitating a constructive dialogue between directors, critics and industry professionals with the shared aim of protecting a spirit of freedom and creation.


Stefano Knuchel

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