Carlo Chatrain will be artistic director of the first L’immagine e la Parola, with Russian Ark director Alexander Sokurov the guest of honour.

The inaugural L’immagine e la Parola (Images and Words) event – a spin-off of Switzerland’s Locarno Film Fesitval – is to run from March 24-27.

It forms part of the Primavera Locarnese initiative. The new event has critic and festival programmer Carlo Chatrain as artistic director, who replaces original appointment Olivier Pere.

The three-day event will focus on “the relationships between the moving image and the written word” and will be partly open to the public.

The guest of honour is Russian director Alexander Sokurov, who will be in Locarno on March 26 with the national premiere of Faust.  He will also be part of the programme on March 27.

The event will open on March 24 with the premiere of 1913 “lost” silent horror classic The Student of Prague, which has been restored by the Filmmuseum Munchen and was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this month.

A “Soiree” event, on March 25, is dedicated to Italian cinema and will feature the Swiss premiere of Ali Blue Eyes, the debut fiction film by documentary director Claudio Giovannesi that has won numerous awards. Giovannesi will also discuss the connections between his work and that of Italian film director Pier Paolo Pasolini, on which it draws inspiration.

There will also be tributes to two writers who recently died. Antonio Tabucchi will be commemorated a year after his death with a screening and discussion around Alain Tanner’s Requiem. A tribute to writer Sergio Atzeni will see the screening of a film by Salvatore Mereu based on the novel of the same name, Bellas mariposas, followed by a discussion with Mereu .

Workshops for film students at professional schools and universities will include one held by Sokurov who will host a seminar on Russian Ark, which was shot in one single tracking shot.

Sokurov will also debate contemporary cinema and European cultural heritage during the concluding event on March 27 with Swiss Cinematheque director Frédéric Maire, International Rome Film Festival artistic director Marco Müller and museum director David Streiff. All three are former Locarno Film Festival artistic directors.

The 66th Locarno Film Festival will run this year from August 7-17.