Film festivals traditionally bring works from all over the world to a specific place, but Locarno Film Festival is experimenting the other way round, reaching out to the outer world. It launches today an online streaming short-film competition, where viewers can vote from anywhere in the planet.
It is the second edition of Locarno Shorts Weeks, that started on experimental mode last year, reaching a much larger audience than initially expected - more than 4000 viewers from 92 countries followed the daily postings in 2019.
The novelty now is that the viewers can voteLink externo, giving notes from 1 to 5 for each film, selected from different sections of Locarno Film Festival of 2018: ‘Pardo di domani’ (Tomorrow’s leopard), the short-films program, Open Doors (dedicated to South Asia in 2018) and Signs of Life (now called Moving Ahead), for experimental films.
Starting on February 1st, Locarno Shorts Weeks will present a new film every day, each one being available for a week in the streaming platform, for free – in total, there are 23 films from 19 countries. You can follow the festival hereLink externo – and by voting for the shorts, you have the chance to win four accreditations for Locarno73, in summer, and a two-night stay for two people at Hotel Villa Castagnola in Lugano.
On the search for new talent
Short films are usually the format young and aspiring directors make their first works, and they must not be considered an amateurish endeavor, on the contrary: in these first films the authors put years of experience and reflection in order to offer the best of themselves and get to be known for it.
If shorts, in terms of production, are an easier way of introducing yourself in the film world, it still struggles with distribution, even in the age of free digital platforms. That’s why initiatives, such as parallel programs dedicated to short films in the most prestigious festivals, are still such a coveted opportunity for budding film-makers.
The format, though, is not just for beginners. Many of cinema’s greatest authors, such as Jean-Luc Godard (“Khan Khanne”Link externo, “Une Catastrophe”Link externo), Claire Dennis (“Contact”Link externo, “Voilà l’enchaînement”Link externo) and David Lynch (“What did Jack do?”Link externo; “Ant Head”Link externo), sometimes also tinker with shorter works, out of the industry standards, to develop more radical narratives, experimental ideas, or personal caprices. Two of the best films by American director Jim Jarmusch, for example, were made first as shorts before becoming acclaimed features - “Stranger than Paradise” and “Coffee and Cigarettes”.
Locarno is certainly the most important Swiss film festival – it is also one of the oldest, and among the main European ones, on a par with Cannes, Berlin and Venice. And its investment in fostering young talent has reinforced its standing as a privileged space not only for aspiring authors but also critics, producers, designers and all other fields connected with the film industry.
The Locarno AcademyLink externo, comprising the Critics Academy (of which swissinfo.ch is a media partnerLink externo), Film-makers Academy, and Industry Academy, plus the newly established BasecampLink externo, enters now its 12th consecutive year, attracting young talents from Switzerland and abroad, some of whom have already had the chance to return to Locarno as full-fledged professionals.
Locarno Shorts in short
Feb.01 LOS QUE DESEAN Switzerland/Spain, Spanish
Feb.02 A ROOM WITH A COCONUT VIEW Thailand, Thai
Feb.03 JE SORS ACHETER DES CIGARETTES France, French
Feb.04 THE LAST POST OFFICE Bangladesh, Bengali
Feb.05 SASHLELI (Eraser) Georgia, Georgian
Feb.06 TOURNEUR Germany, no dialogue
Feb.07 LA CARTOGRAPHE Canada, English/French
Feb.08 HEART OF HUNGER Netherlands, English/German
Feb.09 RENEEPOPTOSIS United States, English
Feb.10 TRADITION Sri Lanka, Sinhalese
Feb.11 ICI LE CHEMIN DES ÂNES Switzerland, French
Feb.12 A COLD SUMMER NIGHT India, Konkani/Marathi
Feb.13 VESLEMØY'S SONG Canada, English
Feb.14 THE SILENCE OF THE DYING FISH Greece, Greek
Feb.15 LA MÁXIMA LONGITUD DE UN PUENTE Colombia/Argentina, Spanish
Feb.16 SORKHE TIRAH (Dark Red) Afghanistan, Persian/Dari
Feb.17 LE DISCOURS D'ACCEPTATION GLORIEUX DE NICOLAS CHAUVIN France, French
Feb.18 SMERT MENYA (The Death of Father Men) Russia, no dialogue
Feb.19 KAUKAZAS Lithuania, Lithuanian
Feb.20 CIRCUIT Switzerland, No dialogue
Feb.21 DIA Pakistan/United Kingdom, Urdu/English
Feb.22 OUT Israel, Hebrew/Arabic
Feb.23 D'UN CHÂTEAU L'AUTRE Belgium, French
Aqui termina o infobox