Four weeks ahead of the opening of this year's Locarno filmfestival on August 6, its Industry Office has reported that buyers from the US, Spain and South Korea are among 10 companies coming to the Swiss festival for the first time this year.

LA-based distributor-producer-sales outfit Eleven Arts will be represented by its president Ko Mori, while Spanish buyers' presence at the festival will be boosted by the attendance of four companies: Baditri, Notro Films, Sorolla Films and Isaan Entertainment.

In addition, Locarno will be welcoming South Korea's Pancinema and Film Messenger, Norway's Tour de Force, and Italy's Sacher Distribuzione for the first time as well as Adeline Fontan Tessaur and Severine Garusso of the new French sales outfit Elle Driver.

Other first-timers could be added in the coming weeks to the Industry Office's buyers list which already includes such Locarno stalwarts as Universum Film's Rudy Tjio, Kinowelt International's Daniel Guckau, Celluloid Dreams' Pierre Menahem, Budapest Film's Peter Bognar and, naturally, a strong contingent of local Swiss distributors.

Last year, 180 international buyers and sales agents attended the Locarno festival and attended associated events such as the co-production workshop Open Doors Factory, which is organised in collaboration with the Industry Office and will be held from Aug 10-12this year.