Head of the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight, Olivier Pere, has been tapped by the Society of French Directors to become artistic director of the Locarno Intl. Film Festival in 2010.
He replaces outgoing Locarno topper Frederic Maire on Sept. 1, 2009. As previously announced, Maire will remain at Locarno’s helm through the fest’s 2009 edition, which will run Aug. 5-15, prior to becoming chief of the Swiss Cinematheque.
Locarno has celebrated independent arthouse pics since its creation in Switzerland in 1946.
“As the new artistic director of the Locarno festival, I’ll be able to continue the work I’ve been doing at the Director’s Fortnight since 2004,” Pere says. “I’ll keep discovering and shedding light on emerging talents from all over the world.”
Pere, who is a Marseilles native, cut his teeth as programmer at the venerable Cinematheque Francaise in Paris, a post he has held since 2005.
He has since forged his reputation as a bright young programmer with a keen eye for discoveries, including this year’s Fortnight standout titles “Acne” and “Tony Manero.”
He is expected to bring more international exposure to Locarno thanks, partly, to his contacts with European and U.S. filmmakers.
Pere’s choice is a departure from Locarno’s tendency to gravitate towards Swiss or Italian artistic toppers, given that it is located in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland and has traditionally close ties with the Italian film industry and media.