Press Releases  ·  13 | 01 | 2020

Valentina Merli is the new Head of Locarno Pro

Valentina Merli e Nadia Dresti

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The Locarno Film Festival is pleased to announce that with effect from 1st January 2020 the new Head of Locarno Pro is Valentina Merli. She takes over from Nadia Dresti, who will continue to work with the Festival as a Festival’s International Advisor.

Born in Italy in 1972, Valentina Merli took a law degree at Bologna University before gaining years of experience working for companies in France and Italy in the field of production, international sales and film distribution. In the process she has acquired deep knowledge of both global market dynamics and the line-up of players in the industry. Having co-founded the Paris-based independent production company Misia Films in 2018, Valentina Merli will continue to be involved with that business alongside her new Festival role, in which she will be assisted by the Deputy Head of Locarno Pro and Head of Open Doors, Sophie Bourdon.

Nadia Dresti, as the creator and prime mover of the Festival’s industry-focused initiatives, not to mention a past stint as deputy Artistic Director, will remain with the Locarno Film Festival as International Advisor.

Locarno Film Festival President Marco Solari commented: “The Grande Dame of the Locarno Film Festival is stepping aside. Over the twenty years of my tenure, Nadia has been a priceless asset for the festival because of her remarkable skills, network of contacts and determination to look to the future. Without her, Locarno Pro as we know it today could never have come into being. I am of course delighted that she will be staying close to our Festival on a consultancy basis.”

Lili Hinstin, Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival, expressed her thanks to Nadia Dresti and had this to say on new Locarno Pro appointee Valentina Merli: “I am very pleased that Nadia Dresti is to continue as a Festival’s International Advisor, while Valentina Merli will be taking on one of the most important jobs at the Festival, as head of Locarno Pro. The Locarno Film Festival is a vital strategic venue for auteur filmmaking. Locarno Pro has to reflect that identity, because the real challenge is to allow this kind of cinema to flourish, by fostering the availability and continuity of its market opportunities.”

The 73rd Locarno Festival will take place from 5 to 15 August 2020 and Locarno Pro will run from 6 through 11 August 2020.


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