On August 4, 2021, the Locarno Film Festival opens for the 74th time. We'll be there to bring you insights and behind-the-scenes exclusives.
On August 4, 2021, the Locarno Film Festival opens for the 74th time. SWI swissinfo.ch will be there to bring you insights and behind-the-scenes exclusives, in collaboration with Locarno’s Critics Academy. The 74th Locarno Film Festival kicks off next Wednesday, August 4, after a year’s break due to the Covid-19 crisis. It is the first big film event fully open to the public since the start of the pandemic - although safety measures will be in place. Attendance is expected to be down 30% compared with 2019, the last time film buffs could enjoy the festival in person, because of travel restrictions. The traditional open-air screenings at the Piazza Grande will be back, but only for vaccinated viewers. Cinemas will have to operate at two thirds of their capacity, and everyone, including accredited professionals and holders of a festival pass, will have to make a seat reservation for every film they want to watch. This year’s festival also sees the debut of the new artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro, who succeeds Lili Hinstin at the head of the festival. An expert on action movies, Nazzaro’s influence is very clear in the programme: there are classic thrillers - The Terminator (1984), Robocop (1987), and Starship Troopers (1997) - and brand new ones having their world premieres, such as the film that opens the festival, the Italian production Becket (Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, 2021). There’s a lot more: a comprehensive retrospective of Alberto Lattuada (never heard of him? No worries, he’s a forgotten master without whom we’d never know about Federico Fellini, among many others), films from all over the globe from Hong Kong to South America, and last but not least, many famous guests. These include John Landis (The Blues Brothers, Twilight Zone), Abel Ferrara and Laetitia Casta - and SWI swissinfo.ch will bring you reports on them from the festival. Follow our daily #LocarnoCloseup dispatches on Instagram, Facebook and in the special section dedicated to the festival in our webpage.