The Locarno Film Festival in southern Switzerland will need a new artistic director as the incumbent, Carlo Chatrian, has been appointed to co-lead the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival, in the German capital.
The announcement was made by the German minister of state for culture and media in Berlin on Friday.
The 46-year-old Italian born Chatrian, who was chosen together with Mariette Rissenbeck as managing director of the Berlinale, is due to take up his post in May 2019.
Chatrian has served as artistic director at Switzerland’s leading film festival in Locarno external linksince 2012.
Over the past six years, he has maintained the festival’s profile among European cinephiles, while programming world premieres in international competition slots as well as Hollywood crowd-pleasers in the famed Piazza Grande open-air cinema.
His appointment is seen as a surprise, as Chatrian, a graduate of literature and philosophy who also made a name for himself as a journalist and author, appeared to rule himself out as successor of Dieter Kosslick in interviews to the press.
Observers say he will face a daunting challenge of reforming the Berlinale which competes for movies with the Cannes Film Festival in southern France.
The Berlin International Film Festival, Europe’s most popular cinema event, was led by a Swiss documentary film director and photographer, Moritz de Hadeln, from 1980 to 2001.
swissinfo.ch with SDA-ATS and DPA; urs