Festival gets five-year commitment from regional government.
The Swiss canton of Ticino has agreed to cement its long-standing commitment to the Locarno Film Festival by promising $15m (CHF14m) financial support over the next five years from 2016-2020.
The canton had previously committed an annual investment of $2.95m (CHF2.75m) for the festival.
The Ticino parliament announced the slight increase in spend this week.
Ticino’s support makes up around a quarter of the festival’s annual budget, which for 2015 is set at $13.8m (CHF12.9m), according to the festival’s COO Mario Timbal.
That budget will also be used for the festival’s spring event called L’immagine e la Parola.
Industry Academy launch
This year’s festival, which runs from August 5-15, will see the official launch of a new section of the Summer Academy, the Industry Academy (August 5-12), after a pilot project test ran last year.
The new training programme, which is being managed by former sales agent Marion Klotz, is devoted to distribution, sales, marketing, exhibition and programming.
The Academy’s first intake of 11 participants from 10 European countries includes participants from Soda Pictures (UK), Mozinet (Hungary), Praesens-Film (Switzerland) and sales outfits New Europe Film Sales (Poland), Doc & Film International (France) and EastWest Filmdistribution (Austria).
In addition, a participant from Mexican distributor ND Mantarraya has been invited to attend as part of the organisers’ goal to open up the Industry Academy to professionals outside of Europe in future editions.