The Locarno Festival is focusing its First Look industry initiative on films from the Baltics, and turning its Signs of Life section, dedicated to edgy experimental cinema, into a competitive sidebar.
First Look, which is dedicated to films in post, will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Baltic cinema, with a focus on Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian works. Between five and seven projects will be selected to be screened for sales agents, buyers, and programmers during Locarno’s Industry Days. The projects will also be awarded cash prizes.
This year’s First Look Jury comprises Cannes Critics’ Week artistic director Charles Tesson, SXSW Film Festival chief Janet Pierson, and Sylvain Auzou, who is deputy director of the Venice Film Festival’s Venice Days section.
Nadia Dresti Deputy Artistic Director and Head of International of the Locarno Festival: “The Locarno Industry Days are the perfect place to give the right amount of visibility to a specific activity. First Look is an excellent opportunity for the countries in focus to highlight their cinema. Thanks to the tailor made program designed by Project Manager Markus Duffner, we are sure that the selected Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian producers will profit from the Locarno experience. Nobody can be sure, especially in these days, to sell a film, but we can assure that the films will be seen by buyers, festival programmers and other professionals in Locarno, as well as by a high profile jury.”
Signs of Life started in 2014 as a non-competitive Locarno section dedicated to new visual languages and formats in moviemaking.
The 70th edition of the Locarno fest, which is dedicated to indie cinema, will run Aug. 2-12.