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Locarno 2023 – Locarno Pro

Country Focus: Switzerland

Only one week to go before Locarno Pro kicks off


- As usual, a jam-packed programme of networking events, pitching forums, talks and other industry activities awaits film professionals making the trip to Switzerland

Only one week to go before Locarno Pro kicks off
(© Locarno Pro)

From 3-9 August, Locarno Pro will once again welcome film professionals from all over the globe during the 76th edition of the Locarno Film Festival (2-12 August). One of the landmark events for the industry, as usual, Locarno Pro will offer “a deep dive into the question of what independent cinema is today”. This year’s jam-packed programme will host a number of online and on-site activities, including networking events, pitching forums, market activities for emerging film professionals, industry lunches and screenings.

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One of these events will be Match Me! (4-6 August), which consists of individual meetings and tailor-made networking activities with potential business partners, aiming to strengthen relationships and mutual interests, help with finding potential co-producers, and consolidate producers’ international visibility. This year’s partners are Cinecittà, the Dominican Republic Film Commission (DGCINE), the Estonian Film Institute, German Films, the Israel Film Fund, the Lithuanian Film Centre, the National Film Centre of Latvia, the Polish Film Institute, ICA Portugal, ICAA Spain, the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) and Unifrance. More information is available here.

Also on the agenda is Alliance 4 Development, the co-development programme for projects from Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland hosted by Locarno Pro. The aim is to future-proof their market potential, and foster long-term creative and business ties between the targeted countries. You can discover the 11 selected projects here.

Meanwhile, the Open Doors initiative will showcase eight feature-length projects from Latin America and the Caribbean that are in search of international collaborations. You can find out more about the programme here.

As always, Locarno Pro will offer several talks and master classes. This year’s events include a master class by producer Ted Hope; a panel discussion on how to finance award-winning projects, which will see the participation of producers Tatiana Leite, Maren Olson and Marianne Slot, among others; three keynote speeches on the independent film industry today by Ever Green Consulting’s Arianna Bocco, the British Film Institute’s Agnieszka Moody and Berlinale executive director Mariette Rissenbeek; and a participative talk on the theme of identity/identities organised by Open Doors in collaboration with BaseCamp.

Furthermore, the Industry Academy days will allow participants to deepen their knowledge of the film industry and get in contact with distributors, acquisition managers, marketing specialists, senior programmers, sales agents and exhibitors, as well as producers and representatives of film funds and institutes. To find out more, please click here.

As part of Locarno Pro’s think tanks, this year’s edition of StepIn promises “to reflect upon the status of independent cinema and focus on some of the most relevant issues that the indie film industry is now facing”, such as theatrical distribution, the “biodiversity of content” and voices in the production ecosystem, and the behind-the-scenes aspects of film festivals. Meanwhile, the U30 think tank will involve the invited young professionals and encourage them “to dive into the multi-faceted aspects of the film industry, and enhance their networking opportunities and synergies with other attendees”.

Moreover, accredited professionals will have the chance to check out the work-in-progress section First Look (this year’s focus is on UK films and is organised in co-operation with the British Film Institute – you can peruse the selected projects here) and watch films from the official selection during the Industry & Press Screenings from 3-7 August. In addition, the Open Doors Screenings will champion features, mid-length films and shorts from South America.

On 7 August, during the very first edition of Heritage Monday, Locarno Pro will focus on the classics. Newly restored films ready to hit the market again will be shown, and they include the recently restored La Porte du soleil (2004) by Yousry Nasrallah, Si le soleil ne revenait pas (1987) by Claude Goretta, Milano calibro 9 (1972) by Fernando di Leo, White Room (1990) by Patricia Rozema and Anything Can Happen (1995) by Marcel Lozinski. Film critic Jay Weissberg will also moderate a talk on two of these pictures as well as a panel on the theatrical distribution and streaming of classics.

Finally, Locarno Pro is set to once again offer an exclusive online environment, where accredited professionals can connect with each other and access content. The tools available are the Locarno Pro Reserved Area, Heritage Online, Open Doors Consultancy and the Open Doors Toolbox.

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