The Locarno Film Festival will showcase the shorts component of its Leopards of Tomorrow (Pardi di Domani) programme online as part of the 2020 digital iteration.
The festival was forced to cancel its physical 73rd edition which had been due to take place from August 5-15 in Switzerland due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is instead running a series of initiatives under the banner of ‘Locarno 2020 - For the Future of Films’, aimed at continuing its work and support for the independent cinema industry.
The Leopards of Tomorrow section, which focuses on short and medium-length works by emerging Swiss and international talent, marks its 30th anniversary this year. Past participants have included directorial duo Daniel Schmidt and Gabriel Abrantes, Rachel Lang, Paul Wright, Mikko Myllylahti, Alexandre Astier, Oliver Masset-Depasse and Tiego Guedes.
Under this year’s digital iteration, the Leopards of Tomorrow shorts selection will be made available online from August 5-15 on a platform accessible worldwide without geographical restrictions.
There will be a maximum of 1,590 views per title – in line with the number of admissions possible during physical editions of Locarno. Each work will be accompanied by extra audiovisual content, including conversations with directors. The festival is also planning to set up a theatrical showcase of the programme in Swiss cinemas in the months after the digital edition.
The submission process will remain open until June 3. The programme’s four Golden and Silver ‘Pardini’ prizes for Swiss and international entries, worth $10,000 and $5,000 respectively, will remain intact.
“We felt that the festival was in a position to make a significant practical contribution towards that remarkable creative laboratory that is the short film and, in the utopian spirit that is the hallmark of Locarno, we decided to return to the original concept of the internet as a knowledge-sharing space without borders or hierarchies,” said Locarno artistic director Lili Hinstin.
This year’s Leopards of Tomorrow selection committee comprises Tizian Büchi, Liz Harkman, Stefan Ivančić and Charlotte Corchète.
“Our aim is to make this edition a unique experience for the filmmakers and the audience. We will offer multiple opportunities beyond the competition selection, to offer each film a platform and a place in the history of the festival,” they said jointly.