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With the 2011 launch of the Locarno Academy, the Locarno Film Festival created, in format and spirit, a unique reality in the field of training, which has now become a point of reference in the international film scene.
From one edition to another, the Locarno Academy has stood out as an incubator for talent in the world of cinema, a space for future directors, aspiring critics and professionals in sales and programming who will be responsible for redesigning the rules of tomorrow’s industry. Indeed, it is precisely thanks to the setting of the Locarno Film Festival, a crossroads for artists and workers in the sector, that participants, each year, have the opportunity to engage with professionals and experts, to express their own ideas on a level playing field, to share experiences and to concretely put into practice what they have learned during their training.
The Filmmakers Academy proposes to intercept talents who are about to becoming established, such as Delphine Girard, from Belgium, a candidate for the 2020 Oscars with her short film Une soeur (A Sister, 2018), or, in the past, Marcelo Martinessi, from Paraguay, who, precisely at Locarno, built a solid network of contacts that paved the way for him to win the Silver Bear award at the Berlin festival, for Las herederas (The Heiresses, 2018). At the same time the Academy supports young promising figures emerging in regions where filmmaking presents particular challenges. For example, thanks to his work with the Locarno Film Festival, Pakistani director Hamza Bangash, who also won the Locarno Shorts Weeks Award 2020, can now develop a new project with significant international support.
From its inception, the Industry Academy has been committed to accompanying participants in their development and their professional efforts. Some have moved on to new positions, such as Kevin Chan, who now is Senior Acquisitions Manager at MUBI; Emmanuel Pisarra, who works on sales and development at Kinology; or Anne-Sophie Trintignac, who has become responsible for acquisitions for the digital platform E-CINEMA. Still others have developed personal projects, such as Rita Stanelyte, who runs her own Film Marketing & PR consulting firm, or Antigoni Papantoni, who, while being part of the Visions du Réel team, also works as a freelancer with numerous film festivals in southeastern Europe.
The Critics Academy follows its participants’ successes throughout the world. Leonardo Goi, for example, in addition to working as a film critic, is currently the coordinator for Berlinale Talent Press. Matt Turner, instead, is a key member of the Open City Documentary Festival team in London, and in his free time continues to independently produce books and zines. Finally, Flavia Dima, Josh-Slater William, Becca Voelcker, Sofie Cato Maas and Pedro Emilio Segura Bernal habitually follow the major film festivals for a wide range of international media.
These are only some examples of the paths taken by participants in previous editions of the Locarno Academy. These success stories confirm the decisive role that a formative experience of this type can play for those who are seriously motivated to work in the film industry. This is why Locarno Academy 2020 is the place for engaging with tomorrow’s cinema. Here to find how to enroll and for further information.
The 73rd Locarno Film Festival is scheduled from 5 to 15 August and at the moment preparations are continuing thanks to team members working from home. We hope that, once the emergency is over and normality restored, the Locarno Film Festival can take place as scheduled. At the same time we consider it our duty to prepare for all possible scenarios in order to adapt the Festival’s next edition, if necessary, to the global context.