While there is certainly no shortage of opportunities to catch a cool new movie around Los Angeles, there are fewer really internationally-recognized film festivals that take place here than you might expect. Now, one European festival beloved by those in-the-know about the film industry is making a foray into L.A. From April 21 to 23, Switzerland’s Locarno Festival will be hosting Locarno in Los Angeles in Downtown L.A.
The Locarno International Film Festival has been held every year since 1946, with each festival culminating in a grand finale screening that takes place on the town’s Piazza Grande for more than 8,000 spectators. As opposed to the glitz of Cannes, Locarno has a reputation of keeping the focus on the films themselves, though big-name celebrities do always seem to turn up.
Presented as a collaboration between the Locarno Festival, the Swiss Consulate General in Los Angeles and L.A.’s own band of roving indie film curators, Acropolis Cinema (which often pops up with screenings at Echo Park Film Center, among other locales), the local version of the festival will feature a collection of 10 screenings culled from this year’s Locarno Festival program. In addition to the movies, there will be two daytime panel conversations and three evening receptions to attend. Everything will take place at the Downtown Independent.
The centerpiece screening of Locarno in Los Angeles is Rat Film, a critically-lauded documentary by American filmmaker Theo Anthony, who will be on-hand to answer audience questions. All 10 films being shown were selected for their strong voices and fresh perspectives from around the world, but also specifically because these films were deemed unlikely to get other distribution in L.A., meaning this might be your only chance to see them.
Locarno in Los Angeles runs April 21 to 23 at the Downtown Independent. Ticketing and schedule details will be available on March 17.
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