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The 75th edition of the Locarno Film Festival sees the launch of the Locarno Green Project, aimed at raising awareness of green practices through films and their stories. The first initiative will be the Pardo Verde WWF, launched in collaboration with the world’s largest environmental organization and awarded to the film in competition that best reflects an ecological issue, offering audiences new and challenging interpretations that inspire change. The second one will be the Green Film Fund, which supports films tackling environmental issues and narrating far-sighted practices.
A new color will be added to the Locarno Film Festival’s traditional black and yellow palette: green. Green as in engagement for the environment, which Locarno has already expressed by becoming a Climate Neutral Event in 2010, and by committing to a series of sustainability goals set by the United Nations. And green as in the raft of awareness-raising actions for the Festival audience, ranging from promoting smart mobility, recycling, and publishing an annual sustainability report since 2021.
2022 brings a significant step toward more proactive environmental engagement while marking the Festival’s 75th anniversary. Thanks to the introduction of the Locarno Green Project – a joined-up plan featuring different initiatives – the Festival will promote films whose storytelling addresses ecological issues and suggests far-sighted production practices. The first ones will be the Pardo Verde WWF and the Green Film Fund.
Raphaël Brunschwig, Managing Director of the Locarno Film Festival: “With the Locarno Green Project, we are beginning a new chapter in the history of the Locarno Film Festival, an event which has always been alert to the urgent issues of the day. Sustainability is a core need on which contemporary society must concentrate its efforts. At this moment in time, we need to rethink our approach and find new tools to tackle the challenges of the future. A cultural event like Locarno can act to generate, foster and disseminate a new perspective by incentivizing films and filmmakers that respect the ecosystem and tell new stories capable of raising public awareness.”
Starting this year, in collaboration with the WWF, a new color will enrich the Festival’s Prize palette: the Pardo Verde WWF that will go to the film – in any of the Festival’s competition sections – that best reflects an environmental theme, offering new and stimulating interpretations to the audience. This unprecedented award, which will be given by the CEO of WWF Switzerland Thomas Vellacott, will be a leading player at Locarno75 and in all future editions. It will introduce a new way of channeling the Festival’s message on sustainability and reflecting our belief that cultural events, too, can play a substantial part in effecting changes in society and daily behaviors.
Thomas Vellacott, CEO WWF Switzerland: “For years, the entertainment world has been moving toward environmental issues. Many are the actresses and actors who support WWF: directors, documentary filmmakers, and well-known faces from the big and small screen, whose work is essential and significant in raising awareness and inspiring public opinion. For us, therefore, it is an honor to be godmothers and godfathers of the Pardo Verde WWF. Being co-initiator of the Locarno Green Project allows us to support all those professionals in the film industry who have chosen productions and themes that protect the environment.”
The Films After Tomorrow, a competitive section introduced for the 2020 edition, which turned Locarno into an actual financial backer of film projects, was a huge success. That positive experience has opened up a new phase for the Festival, which is now increasingly active in the production and creation of content. As a tool that has proved to be both highly effective and in tune with its mission, thematic film funds will now be used increasingly in the coming years to strengthen the event’s position as a catalyst for change and rethink the future of the cinema.
In line with this development, the Locarno Green Project is already introducing an innovative theme-based fund for environmental awareness-raising and creativity. The Green Film Fund is currently in development, with its launch slated for 2023. Every year, the Fund will select film projects that put forward critical reflections on a broad range of green issues: films in which artistic quality and the director’s unique vision will foster environmental awareness and impact society.
Learn more about Locarno75 and the Festival’s green initiatives here.
Sustainability in its three dimensions – social, economic, and environmental – is increasingly becoming a core issue. For Locarno Film Festival, these three aspects are closely tied to the very rationale of the event and find expression in numerous different contexts. To invest in the Locarno Film Festival means to invest in society, and to show that, the Festival has been publishing an annual report since 2021. The report brings together an account of all the activities carried out during the year, both physically and online; a sustainability report, drawn up following Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards; and finally, the Festival’s financial statements, drawn up to Swiss GAAP FER accounting standards. Our objective is to present the results achieved and the main activities carried out during the year, establishing a transparent, ongoing dialogue with all Festival stakeholders.