The Wrap’s Conor Lennon is broadcasting live from the 2009 Locarno International Film Festival this week, bringing us festival highlights, film discussions and a look at life on the sunny side of the Alps in canton Ticino.
Movie Week: Masterclass with Friedkin, part 1 Wednesday, 19 August, 2009The Exorcist and French Connection director William Friedkin—guest of honour and Leopard winner at this year’s Locarno Film Festival—gave a masterclass at the festival, where he discussed candidly some of the highlights of an incredible career. In today’s first installment he talks about some of the women who almost starred in The Exorcist.
International Relations Uncovered: Film fest politics Friday, 14 August, 2009Yes, even film festivals have international relations woven into their historic roots. Dr. Ruxandra Stoicescu tells WRS’s Conor Lennon, about the first film festival and how it led to the creation of Cannes, and where the Locorno festival falls into the mix.
Cinema Roundtable: Locarno’s place in the film world Thursday, 13 August, 2009Locarno is constantly battling to retain its place as one of the top international festivals, says festival president Marco Solari. To find out where it stands and how important that is to other players in the industry, WRS’s Conor Lennon brings to the table Dan Wechsler, film producer at Bord Cadre films, Christian Jungen, film critic at the Aargauer Zeitung newspaper and Doctor Martin Blaney from industry magazine Screen International.
Locarno attracts interesting characters from the top Thursday, 13 August, 2009Locarno Film Festival President Marco Solari is a major figure in the canton of Ticino. He spent nearly 20 years as head of Ticino Tourism, then was the managing director of Migros, before moving onto Swiss media giant Ringier. Now he’s been president of the Locarno festival since 2000, and he’s seen three artistic directors come and go. So when WRS’s Conor Lennon brought him into the studio, he started by asking how he gets on with his artistic directors:
Swiss politics from a Ticinese perspective Wednesday, 12 August, 2009As steam builds behind Fulvio Pelli, head of the Liberal Party, as a possible successor to Pascal Couchepin, WRS’s Conor Lennon invites Sergio Savoia, member of the cantonal parliament for the Green Party, into the studio to talk about how the people of Ticino define their place in Switzerland.
Movie Week: Launching a career in shorts Wednesday, 12 August, 2009Aspiring film directors often start in short films, hoping trying to catch the eye of producers. Swiss director Frédéric Mermoud has made the leap—indeed his feature film “Complices” is the only Swiss offering in the international competition at Locarno this year. WRS’s Conor Lennon is joined by Sylvain Vaucher, head of short films for Swiss Films, the state-funded cinema organisation, to talk about the shorts industry here and whether other Swiss directors are likely to find such success.
Cinema Roundtable: Swiss film quality climbing Wednesday, 12 August, 2009Today is “Swiss Cinema Day” at the Locarno Film Festival and so we’re going to talk about Swiss cinema—the quality, the quantity, and how how hard is it for Swiss film-makers to get projects off the ground? WRS’s Conor Lennon brings to the table Nicolas Bideau, head of cinema at the Federal Culture Office, Michael Sennhauser, cinema editor for the German-language radio stations of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and Christian Jüngen, film critic at the Mitteland Zeitung newspapers:
Brothel backlash boiling over Ticinese borders Wednesday, 12 August, 2009Canton Ticino boasts just 330,000 inhabitants, but more than 30 brothels. More than 80 percent of the clientele come from Italy, where tough laws send many would-be customers across the border into Switzerland. Some hotel and restaurant owners have cashed in on the boom by converting their businesses into brothels. But a backlash is underway in some communes, as WRS’s Vincent Landon reports:
This is not the Locarno you'll see next week Tuesday, 11 August, 2009To explore roots of the unique Ticinese culture, WRS’s Conor Lennon invited Fabio Bonetti, director of tourism for the Lake Maggiore region, into our temporary studio just off the Piazza Grande. He asked him what it is that makes Ticino that little bit different—and whether it’s true that Locarno waits the whole year for the film festival—before pressing him to name only three of his favorite destinations in the region.
Locarno Film Fest 101 Tuesday, 11 August, 2009The 2009 edition of the Locarno International Film Festival is well underway in the southern Italian-speaking region of Switzerland this week. The festival is considered one of the nation’s seven big cultural events, so to give us a crash course on what makes this festival so special, WRS’s Susan Flory speaks to our own Conor Lennon who is in Locarno and will be broadcasting live on location there later this week. He also brings us an interview with the festival’s outgoing artistic director, Frédéric Maire.