Looking to ensure continuity, the Locarno Film Festival has extended artistic director Carlo Chatrian’s mandate through 2020, boosted the role of international chief Nadia Dresti to deputy artistic director, and promoted former head of sponsorship Raphael Brunschwig to deputy COO.
These moves reflect fest president Marco Solari’s strategy to keep the fest’s positive course on track in terms of the cinematic vision of Chatrian, who is now at his fourth edition, and also maintain the ongoing growth of the fest’s significant industry side and overall scope.
Four years ago when Solari appointed Chatrian, who was then 41, there were rumblings that the young, soft-spoken Italian critic – who was a longtime Locarno collaborator but had never headed a fest before – may not have the chops. Those doubts have been dispelled as Chatrian gradually raised the bar with an increasingly diverse mix of esoteric and more accessible titles.
Dresti over the years has systematically expanded and enhanced Locarno’s market side with innovative initiatives including the Open Doors co-production lab to help international filmmakers in areas where the industry is nascent; Alliance for Development, which aims to tighten co-production bonds between France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland; and this year a new European Casting Directors’ Award which she hopes can inspire the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to start having an Oscar for casting directors.
Dresti, who besides being head of international previously held the title of delegate of the artistic director, said she has not yet discussed her new role, but noted she didn’t think “it’s actually going to change much.”
“I am not in charge of the selection outside of the Piazza Grande,” she said. “This means I will probably be boosted in this capacity, as in going to Los Angeles to negotiate with the studios for the Piazza Grande; but this is a task Carlo and I share.
Brunschwig being promoted to deputy COO from head of sponsorship indicates his ability to keep the Swiss fest well-funded. He is also in charge of the project to renovate Locarno’s ExRex cinema venue.