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A Leopard to imagine the Future


Keen to repeat the success of last year, the Locarno Film Festival decided once again to hold an international competition, open to the younger generations, to design the graphic and aesthetic guidelines for its forthcoming edition. The winning design by artist Vito Manolo Roma mirrors a break with the past and gets across the spirit of the Festival’s 75th anniversary: to celebrate a long history of art and cinema, while opening a new chapter in the story.

The competition call went out on 19 October 2021 and attracted more than 1,200 entries from 80 countries on all continents. The enthusiastic response confirmed the strength of the community established around the Festival, and allowed the jury to choose from a thousand different variations on the Festival’s iconic leopard spots. Judging the submissions was a long and meticulous process, given the remarkable number of entries and the extremely high standard of work, but the jury finally settled on the design that will now become the poster of the upcoming 75th edition of the Festival, under President Marco Solari.

Submitted by Italian illustrator Vito Manolo Roma (born in 1982), the winning design encapsulates in one image the significance of the milestone that the Locarno Film Festival is gearing up to celebrate from 3 to 13 August 2022. This will be a powerfully symbolic edition, representing both the history of the Festival, dating back to 1946, and its tireless commitment to looking forward to the next, equally exciting era.

The Locarno75 poster breaks with the graphic styles of recent years to capture the spirit of a Festival open to innovation and experimenting with new codes in the audiovisual. The defining trait of the image is its twofold impact which, on the one hand, pays tribute to the Festival’s 20th century roots, referencing visionary iconography from the period – Giorgio de Chirico or Salvador Dalí – and, on the other, uses smooth, graphic novel lines with subtle irony to embody today’s fluid, merging forms and languages.

To read an interview with Vito Manolo Roma on how the project developed in detail, visit here.

The new image to represent the Festival was chosen by the event’s artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro, COO Raphaël Brunschwig and Deputy COO and Chief Innovation Officer Simona Gamba, together with the Communication and Marketing Office headed by Fabienne Merlet. This year’s jury enjoyed expert assistance from a team of external consultants drawn from high-profile figures in the world of communication, art and film: Carlo Giordanetti (Creative Director of the Swatch Group), Tobia Bezzola (director of the MASI Lugano art museum), filmmaker Gabriele Mainetti (Freaks Out, Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot) and Michele Jannuzzi (Director, Jannuzzi Smith, and brand consultant for the Festival).

Alongside the Festival posters, the new design will also be an inspiration for promotional and information materials for the event, both digital and print media.

The many entrants in the competition were united in turning a gaze on Locarno75 that was rich in imaginative flair and passion for the cinema. They will all be rewarded with an accreditation for this year’s edition, allowing them to continue as active members of the Festival community.­­­

The 75th Locarno Film Festival will take place from 3 to 13 August 2022.




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