Press Releases  ·  23 | 11 | 2020

Saying goodbye to 2020, with new project Locarno Industry Academy America Latina

Now present in four countries in Latin America, the Locarno Industry Academy International is set to strengthen its role in the region with a new continent-wide project

Photo: Panama-Locarno Industry Academy International, 2019

The Locarno Industry Academy International is the Locarno Film Festival initiative created to support young professionals in expanding their network of contacts for international sales, marketing, traditional and online distribution, as well as assisting them with programming in cinemas and at festivals. During the coming weeks the Industry Academy will be rounding off its activities for 2020 — a year which has turned out to be quite unlike any other, in a totally unpredictable way. On the one hand it led us to review and rethink everything we do, forcing us to cancel several events; on the other it has also seen the Industry Academy world in Latin America grow in size and strength, culminating in a brand new project for the region.

With support from the IBERMEDIA program, the Locarno Industry Academy America Latina is set to bring together under a single umbrella the Academies in São Paulo, Santiago, Panama and Morelia. The aim of the project is to consolidate the film industry in the region, strengthening and assisting cohesion in the community of young professionals who have been establishing themselves over the past five years, thanks to the various activities set up in these countries. United in a single organization, the four Academies will enjoy increased visibility, allowing them to enhance their reach and impact. This view was certainly shared by most of the participants in the online edition of the Industry Academy America Latina, who expressed an urgent need for local and regional strategies, especially for Latin American films. That is precisely the objective which the Industry Academy America Latina project managers are working on as a team, designing and running every workshop as part of a joint regional program.

Despite everything, 2020 has been a valuable year for the structure and the future of the Locarno Industry Academy International. As well as proving itself robust and able to react positively to the inevitable reshuffling of its program of events, the Industry Academy has strengthened its presence in Latin America, in a concrete display of solidarity with the difficult situation currently being experienced in the region.

The global pandemic – remarks Marion Klotz, International Project Manager since 2014 – obliged us to reshape our program so as to continue to offer high-quality training through the participation of top-level professionals. Together with each Industry Academy and their respective project managers we developed dedicated workshops taking into account both the situation facing the film industry in the region and the needs of specific filmmaking situations on the ground. The community of young professionals reacted enthusiastically to the online proposal, which exceeded our expectations. The situation is not ideal of course, we miss physical encounters, but we cannot deny the benefits of this digital move. This year we managed to reach a diversity of profiles and countries of origin that we did not have before, thanks to the non-presential format."

During the two new online editions held in Brazil (10-18 November) and in Chile (10-18 December), participants were able and will be able to benefit from the knowledge and insight of key players in the international industry such as Fiorella Moretti (Lux Box), Bobby Allen (MUBI), Sarah Calderon (The Film Agency) and Anne Delseth (Cannes Directors’ Fortnight), as well as established professionals in the region, including Paula Astorga (Circo 2. 12), Gerardo Michelin (Latam Cine – media partner for Industry Academy America Latina) and Sandra Gomez (Interior XIII / MUBI), who is one of the regional Project Managers for the Industry Academy Latin America, alongside Julia Duarte and Erick Gonzalez.

Industry Academy America Latina facts and figures:

Since it was first set up in Latin America in 2015, the Locarno Industry Academy International has developed a network in 4 countries with front-rank partners and film festivals, mentoring more than a hundred young professionals:

  • with Morelia IFF and IMCINE in Mexico (5 editions from 2015 to 2019)
  • with Australab and Cine CCC in Chile (4 editions from 2017 to 2020)
  • with BrLab in Brazil (4 editions from 2017 to 2020)
  • with IFF Panama, in Panama (1 edition in 2019).


The 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place from 4 to 14 August 2021

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