International sales and distribution company IM Global, Copenhagen-based TrustNordisk, the new French-Arab sales outfit Pacha Pictures, and UK producer-distributor Blue Light are among more than 20 companies already confirmed to attend Locarno’s Industry Days for the first time this year.

Apart from participating in the Industry Days, IM Global’s executive vice president of European operations Tim Grohne will also be in Locarno to oversee the international premiere of Kevin Smith’s Red State on the Piazza Grande.

Similarly, TrustNordisk’s head of sales Susan Wendt will also be at the festival for the world premiere of Morten Tyldum’s crime drama Headhunters on the Piazza Grande.

Moreover, Locarno will play host for the first time to the fledgling French-Arab company Pacha Pictures, which was launched at this year’s Cannes Film Festival by former StudioCanal CEO Frederick Sichler and is dedicated to promoting and selling new talents from the Arab world, as well to London-based producer-distributor Alain de la Mata of Blue Light. De La Mata co-founded Wild Bunch with Vincent Maraval and produced Peter Mullan’s last feature NEDS.

Since this year’s Open Doors will be having India as its regional focus with the presentation of 12 projects looking for co-production partners, it is not surprising that there is a greater Indian presence at the Industry Days with acquisition executives representing Mumbai-based PLA Entertainment and Sunstone Entertainment, Calcutta’s RDB Entertainments Private Ltd. and New Dehli-based Superfine Films.

Other first-timers include Dumitru Marian of Moldova’s first independent distributor Altfilm, Cynthia Wiesner of Puerto Rican distribution company Wiesner Distribution, the French sales agent-producer Reel Suspects and Brazil’s Califorina Filmes.

Meanwhile, the Industry Office and Open Doors have joined forces with various partners to draw up a busy programme of workshops and roundtables to complement the one-to-one meetings and industry screenings.

The industry events will be ranging from Europa Distribution’s day-long workshop on digital distribution, under the moderation of Soda Pictures‘ Ed Fletcher, and the European Producers Club’s Co-Production Forum through the launch of Locarno’s new initiative Carte Blanche focussing on eight films currently in postproduction from Colombia, to roundtables on film production in India, different teaching methods at film schools in Switzerland and Israel, and opportunities for accessing support from European cinema funds.