Press Releases  ·  19 | 02 | 2024

Locarno Announces a New Industry Advisory Board Comprised of Key Figures From the Film Industry

In response to shifts in the landscape of independent cinema in recent years, the Locarno Film Festival has formed an Industry Advisory Board comprised of key figures from the international film industry who will provide advice to the Board of Directors of the Festival. The formation of the Industry Advisory Board demonstrates the Festival’s proactive engagement with global challenges and allows it to draw from its members’ professional input to shape its relationship with the various sectors of the industry.

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The Locarno Film Festival has assembled an Industry Advisory Board of key industry professionals to better illuminate the path forward for an international Festival of its size, prominence, and importance for auteur-driven cinema. In recent years, the film industry in every country around the world has been forced to adapt to considerable changes in its material conditions and in the distribution strategies that underpin it. With the understanding that the film world is at an inflection point, the Festival embraces the possibilities of an initiative like the Industry Advisory Board – which will be in consultation with and report to the Board of Directors – and challenges itself to seek new ways to look out at other world sectors.


The Industry Advisory Board of the Locarno Film Festival will be headed by Nadia Dresti, former Marketing Director of 20th Century Fox Switzerland, whose relationship with the Festival goes back to the founding of Locarno Pro, its flagship industry initiative, in 2000. Since 2022, she has served as a member of the Festival’s Board of Directors. Working with her will be seven board members with each bringing with them considerable knowledge of the workings of various sectors of the industry that will be invaluable to the evolution and adaptability of the Festival in the coming years.


“I am delighted that, in this ever-changing audiovisual landscape, the Locarno Film Festival has decided to initiate an ongoing conversation with industry professionals who will advise the Board of Directors on issues that consider the Festival’s future. Together we will tackle relevant issues with the aim of providing invaluable industry insights”, says Nadia Dresti, the Head of the Industry Advisory Board.

The various members of the board represent the diversity of independent cinema. Ted Hope, the celebrated producer responsible for multiple award-winning films and Amazon’s foray into feature film production, will bring insight from his decades of production experience. The Festival will, as one of Switzerland’s top cultural events, also be able to draw on the considerable experience of Edna Epelbaum, CEO of a prominent chain of Swiss cinemas, board member of the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) and the President of the Swiss Cinema Association.


Bobby Allen, Senior Vice President of Content at MUBI and formerly of Celluloid Dreams, Film Four and more, will advise on digital distribution strategies from the perspective of a global VOD player. Meanwhile Marion Klotz, formerly of Paris based sales company Memento International and Head of the Locarno Industry Academy International and its ancillary educational programs around the world, will be able to advise on the young global talents that will shape the film industry in the future.


Beki Probst, considered among the most significant European industry figures – among other achievements, she is the founder of the European Film Market at the Berlinale, formerly in the Selection Committee of the Locarno Film Festival and currently one of four advisors to the Berlinale –, will be able to advise on the intricacies and politics at play across the continent-wide industry. Emmanuel Cuénod, former Director of the Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF) and the current Head of the Swiss Digital Creation Hub, will assist in addressing questions of the Festival’s place as a major national event.


International filmmaking and distribution is diverse and its challenges complex, intermingled as they are with regional issues, benefits and limitations; Gerardo Michelin, the Founder of LatAm cinema, the most trusted trade website for Latin American cinema, will, for instance, be able to speak to the continent’s persisting challenges and exemplary possibilities to help create key bridges with the Locarno Film Festival and the region.

The 77th Locarno Film Festival will take place from 7 to 17 August 2024.

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