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Maja Hoffmann has been officially confirmed as President of the Locarno Film Festival, following a vote of the General Assembly and the new Board of Directors. A revision of the Festival’s governance structure has led to the adoption of new articles of association, a reduction in the size of the board and the introduction of two new advisory bodies.
The newly elected President said the following about her appointment:
“I am honoured and tremendously excited to be elected as the new President of Locarno Film Festival. Under Marco Solari’s leadership, the Festival has changed forever how we all think about film and filmmakers in Switzerland and the world. The Festival has made the art of film a central part of a vibrant cultural life in the region of Ticino.
I look forward to working with the entire team, led by Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director, and Raphaël Brunschwig, Managing Director, to build on the Festival's reputation as one of the most innovative, adventurous and inclusive film festivals in the world.
In a constantly evolving landscape, where new definitions of film and fascinating opportunities emerge, I will support the Festival with energy and enthusiasm in its next phase of development.”
Maja Hoffmann will be joined by Luigi Pedrazzini, former State Councillor of the Canton of Ticino and outgoing member of the SRG SSR Board of Directors, in the role of Vice-President, by Alain Scherrer, Mayor of the City of Locarno, by Nadia Dresti, one of the Festival's key figures as former head of the Industry Office and ad interim Artistic Director, and by Jean-Philippe Rochat, at the top of a leading law firm in French-speaking Switzerland and member of the Board of Directors of numerous companies and foundations. Two additional board members will be announced over the coming months for ratification at the next general assembly in 2024.
In line with the need for a more streamlined and effective decision-making process, the Board of Directors has been downsized, reducing the number of members from the current 27 to a maximum of 7. At the same time, the foundations have been laid for the two new advisory boards, the Policy Advisory Board, chaired by the Mayor of Locarno, which will provide support in the cultural, economic and institutional spheres and the Industry Advisory Board, led by Nadia Dresti, which will bring together multiple and diverse industry competences, ensuring that the Festival's activities remain at the forefront of the cinematographic world. Among the first tasks of the new Board of Directors will be the appointment of the representatives of the two Advisory Boards.
The Assembly accepted the revision of the articles of association, that will enable the Locarno Film Festival to respond to the many demands of the film industry at national and international level, as well as to the many challenges posed by an increasingly complex and diverse society and organization.
The entire Locarno Film Festival community would like to express its heartfelt thanks to outgoing president Marco Solari for his extraordinary commitment. His leadership has left an indelible mark on the Festival's legacy. At the proposal of the Board of Directors, Marco Solari was appointed Honorary President.
The 77th edition of the Locarno Film Festival, with Maja Hoffmann as president, will take place from the 7th to 17th August 2024.
Maja Hoffmann is the founder of the LUMA Foundation, one of the leading private-sector cultural projects in Europe, which since 2004 has fostered artistic creation in the visual arts. As its President, Hoffmann has led the Foundation’s mission from the beginning, tackling urgent issues affecting culture, nature, scientific and ecological experimentation, and at the same time promoting new structures for innovation and positive change. Among the artistic programs and projects that have won plaudits for LUMA are initiatives such as the direction and production of the art biennale Elevation 1049 in Gstaad, or the programming for LUMA Westbau in Zurich. Hoffmann is also actively involved in a raft of institutions at the international level: she is President of the Swiss Institute New York (USA) and of the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles (France), Vice-President of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation Collection in Basel (Switzerland) and a Board Member at the Serpentine Galleries in London (UK), the Kunsthalle Zürich (Switzerland), the New Museum and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, both in New York State (USA), and she is supporting Human Rights Watch.
Luigi Pedrazzini studied law at the University of Zurich and became a lawyer in 1992. From 1977 to 1983 he was Editor-in-Chief of the daily newspaper Popolo e Libertà before taking over the chairmanship of the management of Società Elettrica Sopracenerina SA in Locarno in 1986. From 1999 to 2011 he was State Councillor of the Canton of Ticino, Head of the Department of institutions and three times President of the cantonal government. From 2001 to 2005 he chaired the Conference of Cantonal Governments. From 2012 until the end of this year, he chaired the SRG SSR regional company of Italian-speaking Switzerland (SSR Svizzera italiana CORSI) and is Member of the SRG SSR Board of Directors. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Locarno Film Festival since the mid-1980s.
Mayor of Locarno, Coordinator of the Policy Advisory Board
Alain Scherrer graduated from the ETH Zurich in 1990 with a degree in electrical engineering. Between 1992 and 1999 he worked at Schindler in Locarno and then joined the Canton's information systems centre, where he is currently Deputy Director and Head of administrative management. Between 2000 and 2004 he was a City Councilor in Locarno, before joining the City Government. He was Head of the finance department between 2004 and 2012 and Head of the security and culture department between 2012 and 2015, the year in which he took office as Mayor of the City, being reelected in 2016 and 2021. Since 2016, he has been President of the Board of Directors of Società Elettrica Sopracenerina SA.
Coordinator of the Industry Advisory Board
Nadia Dresti began her career in film as Marketing Director for 20th Century Fox Switzerland before founding her own company based in Geneva, with which she worked with Marché in Cannes and the EFM in Berlin. In 2000, she created Locarno Pro, thereby also guiding the development of Open Doors. In 2006 she was appointed Delegate of the Artistic Director and in 2022 ad interim Artistic Director. Since April 2023 she is serving as Vice-President of the Locarno Film Festival. For eight years she has been a Member of the Federal Film Commission.
Member of the Board of Directors
Jean-Philippe Rochat studied law at the University of Lausanne, graduating in 1980.
After gaining further experience in an international advertising group and in auditing, he qualified as a lawyer in 1987. In 1988, he became a Partner in Carrard et Associés, now Kellerhals Carrard, an international law firm with offices in the major Swiss cities, of which he is Vice-Chairman.
A specialist in business law, he is Member of the Board of Directors and chairman of various companies and scientific and cultural foundations.