Locarno Pro unfurls a multifaceted industry programme
by Vassilis Economou
- Locarno’s industry section has been rebranded; the new landmark event for professionals now offers broader support to arthouse cinema
The industry section of the 71st Locarno Film Festival (1-11 August) is being relaunched this year under a new name, but it is also expanding and following a similar successful path to previous years. Locarno Pro (1-7 August) is the new landmark event for film-industry professionals, according to its head, Nadia Dresti (see the interview), and it also plays an active, 360° role in the support of auteur films.
Apart from the eagerly awaited industry screenings, the new structure will encompass six different sections. The 16th edition of Open Doors will continue its exploration of talents in South Asia and, through its activities, will promote emerging professionals hailing from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Eight film projects (read more here) will participate in the Open Doors Hub co-production forum, where they will have a chance to meet potential European and international partners and be awarded with the CHF 50,000 Open Doors Grant. Also, nine producers (read more here) will have the opportunity to participate in the Open Doors Producers’ Lab, a special incubator programme. This is topped off by the Open Doors Screenings, which will show eight feature and 13 short films from the region (read more here).
The participants in the Alliance for Development workshop comprise four projects from Italy, Germany and France that have been granted the support of their national development funds, and three Swiss projects that are seeking co-producers from neighbouring countries (read more here). Running for three days, the workshop aims to facilitate communication and collaboration among the countries through special sessions, discussions and one-on-one meetings. Furthermore, the eighth edition of the First Look initiative will feature a special focus on the cinema of Portugal, and in partnership with the ICA – Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual, six films in post-production will be screened. More information on the selected projects can be found here.
In the networking section of Locarno Pro, the fourth edition of Match Me! will aim to bridge the gap between production companies in order to create new international collaborations. Three up-and-coming producers from each of the countries (Brazil, Estonia, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland and Switzerland - read more here) will participate in the matchmaking event. Also, the StepIn think tank will give more than 40 film professionals a chance to further express their ideas and share their experiences in relation to the topic of the “Brave New World” that is threatening the film industry and its future, as the “old”, traditional world of cinema is slowly being replaced by new players and trends.
Finally, Locarno Pro is investing in the future with the fourth edition of its Industry Academy, which runs under the umbrella of the Locarno Academy for Filmmakers and Film Critics. Ten sales agents, distributors, managers and professionals in other fields will get a chance to explore all of the opportunities that the Academy platform can offer them. The lists of the selected participants in all sections can be found here.
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