Magazine article Screen International

Locarno: The Personal Touch

Magazine article Screen International

Locarno: The Personal Touch

Article excerpt

In the same way they say dogs can look like their owners, film festivals can take on the temperament of their artistic director.

Some festival directors and festivals are haughty with huge egos, some are party-hard hipsters wanting to reinvent the wheel.

Whenever I bump into Carlo Chatrian, who has been at the helm of the Locarno Film Festival for two years, he's smart yet friendly and gushing with film recommendations.

Those qualities are reflected in the Locarno festival itself. It is a film lover's festival - with an edge. It may have huge Piazza Grande screenings but it doesn't have the looming ego of some other big festivals.

Locarno manages to walk the tightrope of presenting thought-provoking and exciting new voices while offering impeccable retrospectives. There is the feeling of wanting to connect the past and present, to "look at the development of cinema in general", as Chatrian says.

Industry Days, run by Nadia Dresti and her colleagues, also makes Locarno an important stop for the industry; this year's Open Doors revisits Sub-Saharan Africa to present a range of diverse voices; and the Carte Blanche programme offers networking opportunities with the country of the moment, Brazil. …

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