Press Releases  ·  12 | 05 | 2022

Heritage Online brings the past into the present at Locarno75 with several important new collaborations

The Locarno Film Festival is known not only for its gaze into the future of cinema, but also its steadfast commitment to reviving the cinema of the past in fresh contexts. For Locarno, the past is part of a continuous present. The Festival’s Retrospective, the section Histoire(s) du cinéma and the program Cinéma suisse redécouvert, world famous for their ability to stimulate long lasting artistic and cultural conversations around forgotten aspects of world history, are bolstered by Heritage Online, a distribution boosting initiative that was launched by Locarno Pro during the pandemic.

© Manuel-Casimiro De Oliveira

For the jubilee edition of Locarno75, Heritage Online has become more proactive in its partnerships with restoration institutions, further enriching the possibilities for individual rights holders and film history institutions to connect with potential distributors the world over.


Markus Duffner, Head of Locarno Pro: "Heritage Online is an important project that increasingly has become vital for some films to find a new commercial life, reach new audiences and to be re-discovered. Thanks to our partners we'll be able to actively restore some of Locarno Film Festival’s past discoveries with each and every new edition.”


The Histoire(s) du cinéma – Heritage Online program will present a restoration of Nos Vies Privées by Denis Côté on the 15th anniversary of its debut at Locarno, a project possible thanks to a collaboration with Cinegrell, a Zurich and Berlin based services and restoration company which is also one of the sponsors of Heritage Online. The digital restoration of the film, which came about directly due to the Heritage Online initiative, will be included on the online platform after a screening at the Festival.


Denis Côté says of the Heritage Online project to restore Nos Vies Privées: “I am very glad to revive this modest work, created at a time when the technical means (miniDV) led to certain frustrations. Many filmmakers would be happy to take advantage of an opportunity like this.” 


Manoel de Oliveira's O Dia do Desespero, which celebrates the 30th anniversary of its debut at the Locarno Film Festival, has been digitally restored by the Cinemateca Portuguesa. The digital version of this masterpiece by one of the most significant figures in the Festival’s long history will debut anew at Locarno75, first for audiences during the Festival proper and then on the Heritage Online platform for international industry professionals.


Meanwhile, the program dedicated to the revival of significant films from the history of Swiss cinema Cinéma suisse redécouvert – will present two restorations from Cinémathèque suisse: Les derniers passementiers by Yves Yersin and Das geschriebene Gesicht by Daniel Schmid. Both films will be available through in their new release after the Festival, each in their digitally restored versions and accompanied by brand-new trailers and subtitles in three national languages After the Festival is over, the films will join the catalogue of Heritage Online, thus entering the network of distribution for the history of world cinema again.


Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival: “The Locarno Film Festival's commitment to Swiss cinema of the past, at a time when many original voices of new auteurs are appearing on the international scene, is part of an ongoing dialogue between yesterday and today. Only by getting to know yesterday's cinema can we look with confidence to all that awaits us tomorrow. With Heritage Online, the Locarno Film Festival is contributing to the preservation of film heritage and betting on the future.”



In addition to screenings for Locarno75 audiences during the Festival, the titles will enjoy visibility for international distributors thanks to their presence on the Heritage Online platform. Industry accreditation will give access to the Heritage Online database for 12 months.


The 75th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place from 3 to 13 August 2022.




Heritage Online


Heritage Online is a Worldwide Heritage and Library Films database dedicated exclusively to industry professionals. With it, rights holders of heritage and library films can connect with streaming platforms and distributors, with a mission to help classics find a new commercial life and facilitate their distribution. On Heritage Online, streamers (and other buyers) are able to watch available titles, consult their detailed technical information – including availability of films in the various territories – and get in touch directly with rights holders.

Thanks to Heritage Online, rights holders (international sales agents, film libraries, archives, institutes, and restorers’ associations among others) are able to share their catalogues with potential clients: VOD broadcasters from all over the world, ranging from generalist to niche offerings, from established names to emerging start-ups.