Less than six months before its 60th anniversary, the Locarno International Film Festival has seen two of its communications department staff exit due to 'differences of opinion' with the festival's artistic director Frederic Maire.

Riccardo Franciolli, who had come to Locarno last year from the film section of the Federal Office for Culture (BAK) to head the section previously run by Doris Longoni, was apparently not in Berlin last week.

Meanwhile, Patrizia Pedevilla, Locarno's press office coordinator, had sent out a communique at the end of last week informing journalists that she would no longer be working for the festival with effect from March 1.