The upcoming Locarno Film Festival’s First Look initiative dedicated to showcasing pix-in-post will focus on films from Switzerland, in a spirit of industry restart emanating from the home territory for the prominent Swiss event dedicated to global indie cinema.

The competitive industry showcase, which is among the biggest attractions for sales agents and distributors at Europe’s largest mid-summer film event, will fly the flag for Swiss cinema worldwide, in partnership with promotional body Swiss Films.

First Look will be selecting a line-up of six titles currently in post, from entries that can be submitted starting today, March 22.

“In order to celebrate the first 10 years of First Look, after exploring a variety of territories from Latin America to Eastern Europe, we felt duty-bound to turn the spotlight back on the film industry at home, offering new Swiss productions a valuable opportunity to gain international visibility,” said Markus Duffner (pictured), head of Locarno Pro, the fest’s industry side, in a statement.

Locarno Artistic Director Giona A. Nazzaro noted that Locarno “has always kept a constant and close watch on Swiss cinema” adding that at a time “when young filmmakers are re-inventing forms and approaches to develop a new idea of Swiss cinema — and attracting a good deal of attention from the Festival circuit and the industry worldwide — this kind of national synergy assumes even more crucial importance.”

Producers of the Swiss prodictions in post selected for Locarno’s First Look will be pitching their films to global industry reps during the Locarno Pro days dedicated to First Look, on August 6, 7 and 8.  They will also be able to showcase their projects on the fest’s website over August 6-31 in the area reserved for Locarno Pro Online, where they will be accessed exclusively by accredited Industry viewers. To ensure full industry participation from all over the world Locarno Pro, due to the pandemic this year, will take place in a new, hybrid format involving accreditation for both in-person and remote attendees. 

Andreas Bühlmann of Swiss Films pointed out that going forward there will be a stronger partnership with Locarno that will segue from this year’s First Look to a Swiss Films previews industry showcase in 2022.

Barring coronavirus complications, the Locarno Film Festival upcoming 74th edition will run August 4-14 in the Swiss lakeside town.