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Locarno 2020: cinema theaters re-open their doors

The twin pleasures of discovery and seeing movies in the theater, two of the hallmarks of the Locarno Film Festival, will not be missing even in an edition taking place mainly online. Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films will feature live streaming, video on demand, virtual master classes and Q&A sessions, but will also be physical, offering screenings in three different theaters in Locarno, with genuine premieres and repertory screenings over the eleven days of the Festival. There will be the short films of the Pardi di domani competition, films from Locarno’s 72 years of history and the eighteen years of Open Doors, plus a special carte blanche curated by Lili Hinstin that will be – literally – a  surprise.
While complying with the rules required by the ongoing health situation, but nonetheless glimpsing in their gradual lifting the possibility of returning to the cinema, the Locarno Film Festival has decided to offer its public a series of physical screenings at three of the city’s theaters which are also iconic Festival venues. From 5 to 15 August the GranRex, PalaCinema 1 and Muralto PalaVideo will host a dozen screenings daily, premieres as well as repertory screenings, starting with a brand-new feature of Locarno 2020: the Secret Screenings selected by Artistic Director Lili Hinstin.
As described by President Marco Solari, the aim is: “To succeed in maintaining the strength and international reputation of the Locarno Film Festival thanks to the artistic quality of the films presented, thanks to programming that always has cinephile surprises in store, and thanks to operational efficiency and effective communication in both digital and physical formats.
Artistic Director Lili Hinstin: “These months of enforced separation have taught us just how important movie-going is for the life of a community and for a Festival like Locarno. Which is why, alongside the initiatives that will take shape online to reach even the most distant viewers, we have decided to take an active part in re-opening the city’s theaters. The physical programming of Locarno 2020 will provide an opportunity to explore worlds sometimes distant geographically or historically, to discover fledgling talents and to be amazed by unexpected ways of looking at life.”
Secret Screenings
A cinema, in the darkness of the screening room. Ten screenings of unnamed films, a theater ready to welcome movie-goers and an Artistic Director happy to surprise them. This is the formula of the Secret Screenings, for which Lili Hinstin will have carte blanche, inviting the audience to discover the unexpected on a pathway through the cinema of past and present. Right up to the moment when the lights go down and the screen lights up, nothing will be known about the films shown – except perhaps just a clue or two. Only the starting time and the theater will be revealed in advance. A line-up of ten films picked by the Artistic Director without restrictions regarding age, origin, or even festival connections: from gems of the past waiting to be rediscovered, to timeless classics always worth seeing again, to unexpected premieres. The films will be screened from 5 to 15 August in the early evening slot, with repeats the following day.
Pardi di domani
There could be no re-opening of theaters without welcoming back screenings of the Pardi di domani short films. Presented online and with their line-up fully available on VOD, the short films competition will also feature in the physical program, with premiere screenings in evening slots and repeats over the following days.
Through the Open Doors
For its eighteenth birthday, Open Doors will be returning to theaters with a kind of ideal journey through the history of the sidebar. An opportunity to revisit films that are otherwise hard to find, and to get (re)acquainted with filmmakers discovered across almost two decades of traveling the least trodden pathways of world cinema. Ten films to celebrate the taste for discovery and desire for cinema that define the Locarno Film Festival’s most boldly exploratory section.
A Journey in the Festival History
What better opportunity than this unprecedented edition to take a look back at our own history? A Journey in the Festival History, which revisits landmark movies from 1946 to the present day, is an itinerary mapped by the filmmakers selected for The Films after Tomorrow, the Locarno Film Festival initiative that aims to provide concrete support for filmmakers whose work was put on hold by the global pandemic. 72 years of the Locarno Film Festival rediscovered through the gaze of the directors who were inspired, led or intrigued by the films under consideration. The titles picked by these auteurs will all be available online, with some being screened in theaters in a program also assisted by the Cinémathèque suisse, which made some prints available.

Further details of the films shown in theaters will be announced over the coming weeks via the Festival’s official channels.

Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films will take place from 5 to 15 August 2020.



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