Festival Name: Locarno International Film Festival
Location: Locarno, Switzerland
Throughout its 62 year history, the Locarno International Film Festival has occupied a unique position in the landscape of the major film festivals. Every August, around 160,000 cinema-goers, 1,000 journalists, and 3,000 professionals converge on the small Swiss-Italian town of Locarno, right in the heart of Europe, which becomes the world capital of auteur cinema for eleven days.
Geographically located at the crossroads of three major regions of Switzerland, with an audience that reflects these three major European cultures (Italian, German and French), the Locarno Festival has made an asset of its special situation. Its long-standing tradition of openness and dialogue have made it an ideal platform for the promotion of national cinemas from Europe and the world over, from South America to Asia. Locarno knows no borders, neither geographic, thematic or stylistic, and via its dozen different sections welcomes all kinds of films, and all kinds of formats.
During the day, a demanding selection of fearlessly radical films charting new trends in independent film initiates a journey of discovery of countries where film is fizzing, opens up to filmmakers who would struggle to find their voices heard elsewhere, offers opportunities to see both the first flashes of brilliance from talented young filmmakers and the challenges that established filmmakers continue to set themselves. Then, at nightfall, before an audience of 8,000 people, the famous open-air screenings in the extraordinary setting of the Piazza Grande are celebratory and magical occasions for all audiences.
An essential diary date for cinéphiles, Locarno is also recognised by professionals the world over as an invaluable meeting place and arena for discovery, with a wide range of quality films – screened as world or international premieres – where tomorrow’s talent can be found, with assistance from a dynamic and specialist Industry Office.
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