Having a film festival in August can be a turn off for industry folk but Locarno has found a way to lure them in.
The answer has been to hold three industry networking days in the middle of the festival – a new feature introduced last year - where buyers and distributors can see the best of the crop of films on offer in very short space of time. On the periphery, forums and round tables are held on production and distribution issues.
British world film distributor and festival organiser Richard Mowe was there: “That’s a very important development for Locarno, these industry days which I think will grow in the future. It’s a fantastic place to meet people.”
There were 900 film folk accredited at the festival this year, compared with 750 in 2010, of which 250 were buyers and sellers. Of course, it didn’t hurt that A-list stars were also in town during the industry days, shedding a little glamour onto the festival.
The festival’s industry office head Nadia Dresti said they felt attendance was “very good” and a highlight was the Open Doors focus on Indian cinema, where 70 producers had come to network and 434 one-on-one meetings took place. And what was the big industry buzz? “Hollywood is back at Locarno,” she said, referring to Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig’s appearance for the European premiere of Cowboys & Aliens.
Jessica Dacey in Locarno, swissinfo.ch