In his first move as artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival, Olivier Pere has overhauled the selection committee and dropped a competitive strand – Ici Ailleurs will not be a part of the 63rd Locarno fest, which runs from August 4-14 next year.
Instead, Pere will streamline the festival’s Competitive section into two clear strands with 18 films apiece – the International Competition, for established film-makers, and the Film-makers of Tomorrow strand, featuring first and second-time directors.
The Piazza Grande night-time public screenings, meanwhile, will be reserved for “more mainstream and popular films, pitched at the right level for the piazza”.
Pere, who took up the position on September 1 after 10 years heading Director’s Fortnight at Cannes, has also announced that his first retrospective at Locarno will be devoted to Ernst Lubitsch.
Pere said that he fully intends to “pay attention to the identity and history of Locarno, being a place of discovery for new directors, new films. We are freer in Locarno to take risks, programme small independent features, and develop relationships with directors.”
He is intent, however, on changing the festival to make it “more efficient and better organised”.
His artistic committee, which is says is “brand new and not the same as Director’s Fortnight” comprises Phillip Cheah, Jean-Francois Deveau, Mark Peranson, Roberto Turigliatto and Agnes Wildenstein. “We will try to create a community around Locarno,” he says. “And open it up to younger audiences.”