The Locarno Film Festival is one of the oldest, most respected in the world. It’s also one of the most difficult to get to: Other than its remote location — a lakeside town in Switzerland — the 71-year-old event is marked by bold, eclectic programming that doesn’t make its way elsewhere as reliably as selections from the likes of Cannes and Sundance.
That’s set to change with Locarno in Los Angeles, a new initiative launched by L.A.-based film critics Jordan Cronk and Robert Koehler. Cronk also curates Acropolis Cinema, a screening series focused on local premieres of outré titles that might not otherwise screen in the City of Angels, while Koehler has served as director of programming for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, AFI Fest and the Qingdao International Film Festival.
The event is slated to run from April 21 – 23 at the Downtown Independent with a lineup comprised of 10 features from the most recent Locarno lineup; all are L.A. premieres. Theo Anthony will be present for the screening of his “Rat Film,” the festival’s Centerpiece Selection, and two panels featuring critics, programmers and exhibitors will also be held.
The weekend-long affair is a fully collaborative effort between Locarno and Acropolis, with funding from the Swiss Consulate in Los Angeles. “Together with its mission to increase visibility in the US for what we feel is the most important and influential film festival in the world, Locarno in Los Angeles is further reinforcement of Acropolis’ primary goal to help fortify our local cinema and arts communities,” says Cronk.
“The Locarno team nobly put no restrictions on what we could or couldn’t screen, and it speaks to the breadth and depth of their programming, as well as the still-insufficient state of local distribution and exhibition channels, that we were able to curate such a diverse and invigorating program within the parameters of Acropolis’ focus on Los Angeles premieres and films otherwise unavailable to local audiences without comprising on quality,” he adds.
Cronk and Koehler will be holding a press conference at the Swiss Residence at 11 a.m. PST this morning, an event that can be watched as it happens via Facebook Live. Full lineup below.
Opening Night: “Hermia & Helena” (Matías Piñeiro)
“All the Cities of the North” (Dane Komljen)
“The Challenge” (Yuri Ancarani)
“Dark Skull” (Kiro Russo)
“Destruction Babies” (Mariko Testuya)
“The Dreamed Path” (Angela Schanelec)
“The Human Surge” (Eduardo Williams)
“The Idea of a Lake” (Milagros Mumenthaler)
Centerpiece Selection: “Rat Film” (Theo Anthony)
Closing Night: “Scarred Hearts” (Radu Jude)