Nadia Dresti • Head of international, Locarno Film Festival
by Birgit Heidsiek
- LOCARNO 2015: Cineuropa met up with Nadia Dresti, head of international of the Locarno Film Festival, where the Industry Days gather 1,150 industry professionals
Today, the Industry Days are kicking off at the Locarno Film Festival, where buyers, sellers, and programmers will be on the lookout for appealing art house hits. At the Industry Home Base in the Rialto Cinema, film professionals can enjoy a one-stop spot for screenings and networking events that are taking place. “Up to day we have 1,150 industry professionals from almost 70 countries,” says Nadia Dresti, head of international, giving an overview about the various industry initiatives.
Cineuropa: In the age of shrinking art house cinema slots, worldwide overproduction and new financing and distribution models, the selection process for buyers is getting more difficult. What is the approach of Industry Days in Locarno for bringing films to the market’s attention?
Nadia Dresti: We organize industry screenings to give buyers and other professionals a chance to see films from the two competitions and the Piazza selection during the three-day period of Industry Days. Since the sales companies are also attending, this creates a good synergy- networking and business opportunities.
What are the main subjects of the StepIn initiative where industry professionals will discuss current key topics?
StepIn is an interactive think tank focusing on issues surrounding the dissemination of art-house content in Europe and abroad. It is organized in close cooperation with Europa International, Europa Distribution, Europa Cinemas and the Federation of European Filmmakers. The morning will be dedicated to a closed session in which international professionals from the fields of production, direction, national and international distribution, exhibition, funds and festivals will work on topics related to sales, distribution and exhibition. In the afternoon, a short keynote will be followed by a debrief and discussion session involving a larger public.
Last year, Eran Riklis’ Piazza Grande film, Dancing Arabs [+see also:
interview: Eran Riklis
film profile], was an international sales hit. Did that inspire you to put the focus of the First Look 2015 on projects from Israel?
First Look is an initiative focusing on films in post-production from a different country each year, giving a chance for the films to be seen by programmers, sales companies, funds etc. Our choice of the country is based on its production and its interest to the industry. Israeli cinema has always been selected in the main festivals, bought and sold. We are pleased to welcome six relevant producers presenting their films in post.
What is the new activity Match Me!?
Match Me! is Locarno Industry Days' new initiative that will provide an informal networking platform for upcoming producers with projects in development. This year, thanks to a partnership with Cinema do Brasil, CinemaChile, Proimagenes Colombia and the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE), up to four upcoming producers are selected to attend Locarno’s Industry Days and introduce their works to potential co–producers, funds or sales companies through a tailor–made matchmaking service. A series of professional lunches with industry key players will help create a fertile networking in a productive “Latin Corner”.
What kind of training and networking opportunities will the Industry Academy provide for the 11 young professionals?
The participants of the Industry Academy will be given the chance to openly discuss and exchanges with a selected group of industry guests working in sales, distribution, exhibition, marketing and film curating. The programme consists in workshops, panel discussions, case studies but also group work in which participants will be assigned specific task directly linked to the festival programme. They will be invited to most of the networking events such as Happy Hour but also they will be involved in other Industry Days activities such as StepIn or First Look and Match Me. We really want them to feel they are already a part of the industry and not at all just a group of "youngsters" seeing things happening from afar. In our programme we make training and networking working as a team.