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Meet the Locarno Critics Academy Class of 2016

Here are the 10 aspiring journalists participating in IndieWire's workshop in Switzerland this year.

The Locarno Film Festival

Name: Raquel Morais

Age: 27

Where You Live: Lisbon

Your Area of Cinematic Expertise: I would say Portuguese and probably French cinema are the areas I know more about. My knowledge on film is a bit unsystematic and therefore eccentric, though I don’t find that to necessarily be a disadvantage.

The Best Movie You’ve Seen in 2016: It is difficult to pick just one… “Valley of Love,” “Cemetery of Splendor,” “Kaili Blues,” “No Home Movie,” “Bella e Perduta”

The Movie You’re Most Looking Forward to Seeing in Locarno: Same problem…”O Ornitólogo,” “Beduino,” “I Had Nowhere to Go,” “The Hunchback,” “A Train Arrives at the Station”

Your Favorite Book (or Piece of Writing) About Film or TV: “A Hundred Thousand Cigarettes: The films of Pedro Costa,” an anthology about the Portuguese film director that reunites a quite diverse array of approaches; collaborators in this volume include Jacques Rancière, Jeff Wall, Jonathan Rosenbaum and Thom Andersen.

I’m Taking Part in the Locarno Critics Academy Because…: I wish to turn my love for cinema into something more significant in my professional life. Although my hobbies and my previous work experience are directly related to film production or film programming, I’d like to actually be able to spend my time talking to people and writing about objects that either amaze me or disturb me, namely films.

In order to do so I need to find balance with the meticulous and extensive work I was used to doing at the University and the need to work on a faster pace. In practical terms, the Academy will allow me to realize if I am actually ready to be back to a more journalistic writing style.

And, all in all, there is the thrilling of attending the Locarno Film Festival – not a minor privilege.

What unique perspective would you like to bring to the world of criticism? I studied Literature for a number of years, namely in a postgraduate program that brings together students of Philosophy, Arts, Literature, Law…I guess that has led me into thinking that specializing in only one field, especially if you are young,  can sometimes be a disadvantage. I am fond of the idea that a film can throw light on a philosophical treaty, or that a novel can help to understand a photograph. I still consider myself to be more like a very curious person than an expert and I believe this might bring some vigor and freshness to my writing.

Name: Franziska Esther Meierhofer

Age: 27

Where You Live: Zurich, Switzerland

Your Area of Cinematic Expertise: Fairly new to the field with a deeper interest for story and script.

The Best Movie You’ve Seen in 2016: “Embrace of the Serpent”

The Movie You’re Most Looking Forward to Seeing in Locarno: “Endless Poetry”

Your Favorite Book (or Piece of Writing) About Film or TV: The essay “Autobiografia di uno spettatore”/”A Spectator’s Autobiography” by Italo Calvino written in 1974 at Federico Fellini’s request

I’m Taking Part in the Locarno Critics Academy Because…: I’m lucky.

What unique perspective would you like to bring to the world of criticism? One that is at once person-centered and aware of social contexts supplemented with an interpretive and even playful approach to meaning and message.

Name: Mariama Balde

Age: 23

Where You Live: Lausanne, Switzerland

Twitter handle (or blog if you have one): www.daily-movies.ch

Your Area of Cinematic Expertise: Interviews, dramas

The Best Movie You’ve Seen in 2016: “Carol”

The Movie You’re Most Looking Forward to Seeing in Locarno: “I, Daniel Blake”

I, Daniel Blake

“I, Daniel Blake”

Sundance Selects

Your Favorite Book (or Piece of Writing) About Film or TV: Roger Ebert’s criticism

I’m Taking Part in the Locarno Critics Academy Because…: I want to discover this festival from a critic perspective and from other critics.

What unique perspective would you like to bring to the world of criticism? I’m studying filmmaking as well, which I think gives me a different perspective on films.

Name: Elia Molo

Age: 21

Where You Live: I’ve always lived in Lugano (Switzerland), but since last year I live and study in Dublin (Ireland) during term.

Your Area of Cinematic Expertise: I’m particularly interested in contemporary Quebec cinema and politically-charged national cinemas.

The Best Movie You’ve Seen in 2016: “The Lobster”

"The Lobster"

“The Lobster”

The Movie You’re Most Looking Forward to Seeing in Locarno: There are so many movies lined up that I cannot decide which ones I’m more excited about. Moreover, what I like about Locarno Film Festival is discovering new directors and actors, maybe by watching a film you knew nothing about until the moment it started.

Your Favorite Book (or Piece of Writing) About Film or TV: Probably Pam Cook’s The Cinema Book, a collection of essays written by different film theorists, which covers an impressive range of topics and cinematic currents.

I’m Taking Part in the Locarno Critics Academy Because…: It gives me a chance to meet other film enthusiasts and fellow film critics, allowing me at the same time to improve and put into practice my writing skills in a vibrant environment.

What unique perspective would you like to bring to the world of criticism? I’m not sure whether or not it can be considered a unique perspective, but I would like to write reviews which encourage people to reflect on the film they just saw in the context of the real world’s issues and current events. Reviews, in my opinion, should not be a mere comment on a film, but should try and engage with deeper questions. I am also interested in understanding how and why films portray a specific ideology (as I try to explain in this article), how they can be shaped by it, and how they can be used to spread ideas and beliefs.

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