The Locarno Film Festival is going green, literally and figuratively, with a series of programs aimed at raising awareness of environmental issues.
For its 75th edition, which will take place from August 3 to 13, Locarno will introduce a new prize, the Pardo Verde WWF, awarded in collaboration with the environmental group World Wildlife Fund (WWF), for the film in competition which best reflects an issue ecological and offers “the public new and stimulating interpretations that inspire change”. The prize will be a bright green version of Locarno’s traditional gold leopard stature.
Locarno will also launch a new Green Film Fund to provide financial support for films dealing with environmental issues. The fund will operate in the same way as Locarno’s The Films After Tomorrow programme, launched in 2020 during the COVID pandemic, which has made Locarno a real funder of independent film projects. Locarno said it plans to increasingly use “thematic film funds” in the coming years to strengthen Locarno’s position “as a catalyst for change and rethinking the future of cinema”.
While the Green Film Fund is still ongoing, Locarno said the total project value will be 6 figures and the fund expects to support up to three projects per year.
Locarno has been a climate-neutral event since 2010 and is committed to a series of sustainability goals set by the United Nations. Last year, it began publishing an annual sustainability report, documenting progress towards its green goals.
“We are opening a new chapter in the history of the Locarno Film Festival, an event that has always been attentive to the urgencies of the moment,” Locarno general manager Raphaël Brunschwig said in a statement. “Sustainability is a fundamental need on which contemporary society must focus its efforts. At this time, we need to rethink our approach and find new tools to meet the challenges of the future. A cultural event like Locarno can act to generate, foster and disseminate a new perspective by encouraging films and filmmakers who respect the ecosystem and tell new stories capable of raising awareness.