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Locarno: São Paulo-Locarno Industry Academy International to Launch in October (EXCLUSIVE)

Locarno hosts third Industry Academy

LOCARNO, Switzerland — Locarno’s Industry Academy will make a new expansive move this fall, launching an edition at São Paulo’s Mostra, the São Paulo-Locarno Industry Academy International, which takes place Oct. 25-29. The Brazilian event will be organized in partnership with Cinema do Brazil.

The Locarno Industry Academy International already developed a pilot training facility at the 4th Boutique Cinema do Brasil, a work in progress mini-mart staged in 2015 with Cinema do Brasil, the Brazilian export promo org which is based out of São Paulo.

In line with an increase of industry initiatives at festivals in general and Locarno in particular, the Locarno Industry Academy has already set up editions at Mexico’s Morelia and Greece’s Thessaloniki festivals, as well as New York’s Lincoln Center New Directors New Films Festival.

The Industry Academy launched at Switzerland’s A-category Locarno Festival, Europe’s biggest summer film meet, in 2014 with a pilot program under Nadia Dresti, head of Locarno’s Industry Days.

Running August 2-9, the third Locarno Industry Academy International will offer 12-sessions and several group work screenings.

Supervised by Mathias Noschis, a marketing specialist at Alphapanda, participants will work on potential marketing strategies for three chosen films: Ilian Metev’s “3/4” world-premiering at Locarno’s cutting-edge showcase Cineasts of the Present; Eliza Hittman’s Sundance Directing Award-winner “Beach Rats,” also at Cineasts of the Present; and “The Endless Days of Youth,” the first feature from Léa Forest and Cosme Castro, which screens out of competition on Locarno’s Piazza Grande.

Still Moving producer-sales agent Pierre Menahem and Nicholas Kaiser at Memento Films International will tutor students on the international sales business. Kaiser will direct a case study on Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie’s “Good Time,”a Cannes Competition hit screening at the Piazza Grande.

Speakers in charge of presenting digital and alternative distribution issues are Bobby Allen and Lorenzo Fiuzzi, from VOD services Mubi and Filmatique, respectively.

Jaime Romandia, the founder-partner of Mexico’s Mantarraya Group producer of Carlos Reygadas’ ”Post Tenevras Lux,” and a diversifying arthouse production-distribution-training combo, will drill down on the distribution and exhibition in Mexico.

Other international industry figures talking at the Academy include Eurimages head Roberto Olla, Isabelle Fauvel at Initiative Film, Berlinale European Film Market president Beki Probst, Allison Gardner at Glasgow Film Theater and Tim League, U.S. Alamo Drafthouse CEO and Fantastic Fest founder.

The selected young executive participants are just ten in number. Among them: Giampietro Balia, a programmer for the Tallinn Black Nights Festival; Emma Caviezel at Göteborg Film Festival’s VOD platform Draken Films; Kateřina Dvořáková, based out of Prague film distribution company Aerofilms and a festival consultant; Marieke De Meerleer, at Antwerp-based Benelux acquisitions label The Searchers; and Johan Fogde Dias, at Stockholm-based Folkets Bio Distribution and a project co-ordinator at audience-driven distribution initiative Scope100.

Participants also include Edward Frost, a marketing executive at London-based distributor Thunderbird Releasing, owned by Canadian media group Thunderbird Entertainment; Ricardo Monastier, a sales agent at Paris’ MPM Film; Valentina Neumann, at London-based social media marketing agency Alphapanda; Emma Silhol, from Berlin-based sales company Films Boutique; and Yasmina Tamer at Paris-based Memento Films International.

“The profile of participants this year is singular: They all have a cross-sectorial training and experience. One is working in sales but trained in distribution; another, who worked in distribution, is now overseeing festivals. They are independents with original careers in the industry”, said Locarno Industry Academy International manager Marion Klotz.

The Industry Academy initiative is backed by Switzerland’s Federal Office of Culture, the E.U. Media Program and pan-European orgs Europa Cinemas, Europa Distribution and Europa International.

“I think the next step would be to establish bridges between the different international Industry Academies in order to exchange knowledge and expertise on a regular basis,” Klotz said, suggesting that in the future maybe the participants all around the world will partner to also distribute a movie. “This would be a dream,” she concluded.

The next Industry Academy event, the Morelia-Locarno Industry Academy International, to be held at Mexico’s Morelia Festival, will run Oct. 21-25.

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