Press Releases  ·  22 | 03 | 2021

First Look 2021 – Focus on Switzerland

The Locarno Pro initiative dedicated to films in post-production turns the spotlight on Switzerland: to celebrate its 10th edition, First Look will be zooming in on recent product from the Swiss film industry, in collaboration with SWISS FILMS.

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First Look is a true launching pad for these selected domestic film projects, works in progress that, once completed, will carry the flag for Swiss cinema worldwide. That’s the theme for this year’s 10th edition of First Look, dedicated entirely to the Swiss film industry and its most promising productions. Films can be entered as of today, Monday 22 March, and, thanks to its partnership with SWISS FILMS, First Look will pick a line-up of 6 titles currently in post-production.

Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival: “The Festival has always kept a constant and close watch on Swiss cinema. At a moment in time when young filmmakers are re-inventing forms and approaches to develop a new idea of Swiss cinema — and attracting a good deal of attention from the Festival circuit and the industry worldwide — this kind of national synergy assumes even more crucial importance. Looking towards the future together will be an exciting adventure that is bound to bring many discoveries.”

The producers of the works in progress selected will take part in the Locarno Film Festival, with an opportunity to pitch their films direct to industry professionals during the Locarno Pro days dedicated to First Look, on 6, 7 and 8 August 2021 in the theaters of the Rialto in Muralto (Locarno). They will also be able to showcase their works in progress on the Locarno Film Festival Digital Library, in the area reserved for Locarno Pro Online, where they will be accessed exclusively by accredited Industry viewers. In order to involve professionals from all over the world, the activities of Locarno Pro this year will take place in a new, hybrid format involving accreditation for both in-person and remote events. The full program of activities and their respective formats, together with details of the accreditation process, will be announced over the coming months.

Markus Duffner, Head of Locarno Pro: “In order to celebrate the first ten years of First Look, after exploring a variety of territories from Latin America to Eastern Europe, we felt duty-bound to turn the spotlight back on the film industry at home, offering new Swiss productions a valuable opportunity to gain international visibility.”

Andreas Bühlmann, Industry Consultant at SWISS FILMS: "First Look 2021 marks the start of a new and significant collaboration with Locarno, which will continue next year with the SWISS FILMS Previews. We’re delighted with the new partnership and look forward to this exclusive opportunity to present the variety of Swiss cinema in the unique setting of the Locarno Film Festival.”

Enter your film

Works in progress can be submitted from today, 22 March, on the website of the Locarno Film Festival, until the closing date of 31 May 2021. The titles selected by the Festival team will be made known at the end of July, while the winners will be announced on 8 August. The films will be presented to an audience of sales agents, buyers, programmers and representatives from post-production support funds, with a view to enhancing their completion and sales prospects, and festival careers. A jury made up of international festival directors and programmers will hand out several awards: The cinegrell First Look Award, which consists of services towards the completion of films in post-production up to the value of 50,000 Swiss Francs – an award sponsored by cinegrell post-production house and film laboratory, with whom the Festival is happy to continue the collaboration thanks to the new support for the initiative First Look; a prize from Le Film Français, consisting in advertising services to a value of € 5,600; and finally the prize offered by Kaiju Cinema Diffusion, worth € 5,000, for the design of an international poster.

The 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place from 4 to 14 August 2021. The Festival team is currently working, in full compliance with official health and biosecurity guidelines, towards a complete edition of the event in 2021. Should those same guidelines so require, however, the Festival reserves the option to make organizational changes which will be announced to the media and the general public in due course.