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Locarno International Film Festival

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Locarno International Film Festival

Launched in 1946, the Locarno International Film Festival began when festivals in Venice and Cannes were reinstated following the end of WWII, igniting a wave of new films festivals that continues to this day. Situated in the mountains of Switzerland, where Italian is the main language, Locarno is on the northern shores of Lake Maggiore. 2009 featured some 400 films screened for some 180,000 attendees, skewing more toward then general public than industry types. Programming at the late summer event is bolder and more challenging, aimed at discovery and more obscure auteurs. Venice fest chief Marco Mueller programmed the Locarno event before moving south for the Venice event. The main hub for moviegoers is Locarno's legendary Piazza Grande, the massive town plaza that hosts nightly al fresco screenings of mainstream movies for thousands of attendees. [Eugene Hernandez]

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