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New Locarno artistic director Lilli Hinstin is starting to put her stamp on the Swiss event dedicated to indie cinema with the appointment of a new team and the introduction of a reconfigured midnight movie strand to the fest’s Piazza Grande section.

The new still unnamed strand of midnight screenings unspooling in Locarno’s 8,000-seat Piazza Grande venue will be dedicated to offbeat crowdpleasers for a specific type of audience. “It can be a crazy comedy, or a genre film,” said Hinstin, adding they will be titles “that push the boundaries.”

As for Hinstin’s team, besides her new selection committee – announced last December – Locarno’s new chief has now brought on board British industry veteran Mike Goodridge as consultant for Piazza Grande programming. A former editor of Screen International and CEO of Britain’s Protagonist Pictures, Goodridge is currently director of the The International Film Festival & Awards Macao.

Hinstin said she and Matilde Henrot, who is on the selection committee, will “program the Piazza Grande with Mike” acting as their adviser. “We want to build something very strong for the audience; with many genres,” Henrot said about the fest’s section historically dedicated to more mainstream movies though, depending on the artistic director, the Piazza has seen some pretty esoteric titles over the years.

Also joining Locarno as a consultant are Brazil’s Janaina Oliveira and France’s Anna Tarassachvili.

Oliveira is a researcher and film programmer who is curator of Brazil’s Zózimo Negro Bulbul Film Festival, Latin America’s first festival dedicated to films by black directors. She will be in charge of African cinema, including films by directors rooted in the African diaspora around the world.

Tarassachvili, who was Hinstin’s deputy at France’s  Entrevues Belfort Intl. Film Festival, will be in charge of classic cinema, retrospectives, tributes and prizes at Locarno.

The festival’s selection committee comprises: Mathilde Henrot, programmer with Sarajevo Film Festival. Nicholas Elliott, New York correspondent for Cahiers du Cinéma. Julian Ross, programmer with Rotterdam International Film Festival. Daniela Persico, Italian film critic and programmer. Antoine Thirion, founder of online magazine Independencia.

The 72nd Locarno Film Festival will take place from 7 to 17 August 2019.