Italian-born writer and festival programmer Carlo Chatrian has been chosen by Locarno Festival’s Board of Governors to succeed Olivier Père as the artistic director and officially take up his post from Nov 1.

The decision was made at a special meeting of the Governors on Tuesday morning after Père’s announcement last week that he would be leaving the festival to head up Arte France Cinéma.

Chatrian, who has been the director of the Film Commission Vallée d’Aoste Foundation since last year, is no stranger to Locarno. He began working with the festival from 2002, was part of the selection committee from 2006 to 2009 and also curated the festival’s recent retrospectives dedicated to Nanni Moretti, Manga Impact, Ernst Lubitsch, Vincente Minnelli, and Otto Preminger.

Commenting on Chatrian’s appointment, Festival President Marco Solari said: “I have been keeping a watchful eye on Carlo Chatrian for several years now. I have always appreciated both his intelligence and professional abilities. Carlo Chatrian knows our event inside out and has the charisma and qualifications required to lead the Locarno Festival. I am sure he is the right person for this important task.”

Chatrian responded by saying that “to have the chance to direct this event, so bold and sharp-sighted in its presentation of coming cinema that also engages a dialogue with what has gone before, is at the same time a cause for pride and a stimulus to take its agenda forward, an agenda that is characterised by freedom, an openness to the new, and is attentive to the requirements of both experts and the tastes of audiences who, from one edition to the next, return to Locarno with the hope of being – once again – surprised.”