Locarno’s “First Look” will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Baltic cinema

Locarno’s work in progress section First Look will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Baltic Cinema showcasing not yet completed Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian films, for an audience of professionals attending the Industry Days.

Baltic Cinema Industry has seen a constant growth in recognition in the yearly festival circuit: 2016 Berlinale Chrystal Bear winner Es esmu seit (Mellow Mud) by Renars Vimba, Tangerines by Zaza Urushadze (nominated at the 2015 Oscars), and I’m Not From Here by directors Maite Alberdi and Giedrė Žickytė. Several Baltic directors have attended the last edition of the Locarno Festival: Laila Pakalniņa, Maris Saadi, Ilmar Raag, Heilika Pikkov among others.

“The Locarno Industry Days are the perfect place to give the right visibility to a specific activity. First Look is an excellent opportunity for the countries in focus to highlight their cinema. Thanks to the tailor made program designed by Project Manager Markus Duffner, we are sure that the selected Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian producers will profit from the Locarno experience. Nobody can be sure, especially in these days, to sell a film, but we can assure that the films will be seen by buyers, festival programmers and other professionals in town, as well as by a high profile jury ”, says Nadia Dresti, Locarno’s Deputy Artistic Director and Head of International.

Thanks to the invaluable support of the National Film Centre of Latvia, Estonian Film Institute and Lithuanian Film Centre, First Look 2017 will select from 5 to 7 films in post-production stage and with no sales agent attached to be screened to an audience of buyers, festival programmers, post-production support funds representatives and sales agents attending Locarno’s Industry Days. The aim is to start the films’ international career and help their completion, enhancing a dialogue between the professionals and the producers that will introduce each work in progress briefly before each screening.

“The Latvian National Film centre is very pleased to participate in the First Look section, which represents a great opportunity for the Latvian film industry to highlight its production boost – 16 new features – for Latvia’s centenary programme”, National Film Centre of Latvia, Dita Rietuma.

“It is a great honour for Estonia to present its films in the First Look section. Recent developments in our film industry e.g. cash rebate, special centenary programme prove that we have a lot to offer for the international film scene and Locarno is a perfect place for that”, Estonian Film Institute, Edith Sepp.

“Film industry in small countries faces big challenges and the partnership between the Locarno Festival and the Baltic countries is a strong creative answer to these challenges. I look forward to celebrating the Lithuanian selected films”, Lithuanian Film Centre director, Rolandas Kvietkauskas.

This year’s Jury is composed by Charles Tesson, Festival Cannes Semaine de la Critique’s Artistic Director, Janet Pierson, Head of the SXSW Film Festival and Sylvain Auzou, Venice Days’ Vice Director, and will assign the First Look award sponsored by CineLab Romania that consists in 65.000,00 euro in post-production services, the Le Film Français award worth 5.500,00 euro in advertising services, and the Boogieman Media award for the production of a Key Art in the value of 5.000,00 euro.

Before Baltic countries, First Look focused on Poland, Israel, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Colombia, launching successful titles like Sufat Chol (Sand Storm) by Elite Zexer, Que Horas Ela Volta? (The Second Mother) by Anna Muylaert, Matar a un hombre (To Kill a Man) by Alejandro Fernandez Almendras, La Playa DC by Juan Andrés Arango.

The 70th edition of the Locarno Festival will held from 2 to 12 August 2017.

Further information on First Look.