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Lili Hinstin Named New Locarno Festival Director

Lili Hinstin has been named the new artistic director of the Locarno Festival. Hinstin, who will take up the role Dec. 1, was unanimously appointed by the film festival’s board of governors at a meeting Friday.

Taking over the role is “an honor, because this is a festival that over the years has become a benchmark for cinephiles worldwide,” Hinstin said, adding: “I will be putting all my experience and passion into taking forward this project of freedom and discovery.” Her first festival as artistic director will be next year’s 72nd edition, which runs Aug. 7-17 in the southern Swiss town.

Hinstin replaces outgoing festival chief Carlo Chatrian, who has served as artistic director of Locarno since 2013 and is heading to the Berlinale. Hinstin is the 13th artistic director of the Locarno Festival since it was founded in 1946 and is the event’s second female chief, following Irene Bignardi, who served as artistic director from 2000 to 2005.

Marco Solari, president of the festival, said: “Our objective now is that the festival’s coming editions and the 75th anniversary will be a decisive step in reaching 2022 with a festival that, while never denying its past, will also have interpreted the ongoing changes in world society and in filmmaking in general, thanks to the expertise and sensibilities of its artistic director and the efficiency of its operating officer and their teams.”

The Paris-born Hinstin joins Locarno from the Entrevues Belfort Intl. Film Festival in France, where she has been artistic director since 2013. Prior to joining Entrevues Belfort, she served as deputy artistic director of the Paris-based international Film Festival Cinema du Reel from 2011 to 2013. In 2001, she set up her own production company, Les Films du Daut Tigre, and was later responsible for the film-related activities of the Academy of France in Rome from 2005 to 2009.

Earlier this month, the most recent edition of Locarno featured 13 world premieres in its 15-film main competition section, which was characterized by movies with women at their center. Singaporean director Yeo Siew Hua’s “A Land Imagined” took home the festival’s top prize, the Golden Leopard. Chinese auteur Jia Zhang-ke presided over the competition jury.

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