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Olivier Père departs Locarno to head up Arte France Cinéma

Locarno Film Festival artistic director Olivier Père will replace Michel Reilhac who is resigning from ARTE to pursue transmedia projects.

Olivier Père has resigned as director of the Locarno Film Festival director to head up Paris-based Arte France Cinéma.

He will replace Michel Reilhac, who has resigned as executive director of the Paris-based cinema branch of Franco-German broadcaster Arte after ten years at its helm to pursue his own transmedia projects.

Transmedia devotee Reilhac Tweeted his resignation during an Arte news conference on Monday (Aug 27), outlining its line-up for the coming year.

“I am resigning from Arte,” he Tweeted. “I will be replaced by Olivier Père, the current director of the Locarno Film Festival.”

“I am leaving Arte. I will dedicate myself entirely to my own transmedia projects as story architect, writer, developer,” he explained, adding he would remain in place as head of Arte France Cinéma until Dec 1.

The Locarno Film Festival confirmed Père had resigned from the festival.

“I wish to thank Olivier Père for his work and major achievements over the last three years that have consolidated Locarno’s position in
the international arena, and I am delighted for him at this next step in his brilliant career,” festival president Marco Solari said in a statement.

Locarno’s board of governors will meet on Sept 4 to deliberate on Père’s successor and plan to announce the festival’s new artistic director at a news conference at noon local time that day. 

Père, 41, took on the mantle of Locarno Film Festival artistic director in September 2009.

Prior to that appointment, he was the head of the Cannes Film Festival’s parallel section Directors’ Fortnight.

He commented of his time at Locarno: “I am very sad to be leaving the festival but am also immensely satisfied with what has been achieved.”

As executive director of Arte France Cinema Reilhac controlled both production and film acquisitions.

With an annual budget of €12m in 2012, Arte France Cinéma invests in 25 independent, feature-length productions a year, including three-feature-length documentaries.

Recent Arte co-productions under Reilhac’s watch include Arnaud Des Pallieres’ Michael Kohlhaas, Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways and Roy Andersson’s Pigeon On A Branch, Leos Carax’s Holy Motors and Sylvie Verheyde’s Confessions Of A Child Of The Century.

Prior to taking the reins at Arte France Cinéma, Reihlac served as executive director of the Forum des Images art-house cinema complex in Paris and was an independent producer, documentary-maker and chairman of the CNC’s now defunct Fonds Suds, which has recently morphed into the New World Cinema fund.

In recent years Reilhac has become increasingly interested and involved in transmedia projects, regularly participating at events such as Power To The Pixel. 

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