Locarno Fest Names Giona Nazzaro Artistic Director


Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director, Locarno Film Festival

The film programer and critic takes over from Lili Hinstin, who resigned after less than two years on the job.

Giona A. Nazzaro, an Italian film programmer, critic, and regular on the international festival circuit, is the new artistic director for the Locarno International Film Festival. Locarno's festival board announced his appointment on Thursday.

Nazzaro, who has been a general delegate of the Venice Festival's International Critics' Week since 2016, and a member of the Rotterdam Festival's artistic committee, takes over from Lili Hinstin, who resigned from the Locarno post in September after less than two years at the job. 

Nazzaro officially takes over on January 1 and will put together the program for the 74th Locarno Festival, scheduled for Aug. 4-14, 2021. 

Born in Zurich, Nazzaro is an Italian national and a regular on the international festival scene. His experience with art-house festivals —in addition to Rotterdam he was programmer and curator on the selection committee of the Visions du Réel Festival in Nyon and has worked with the Turin and Rome fests — should stand him in good stead for Locarno. The Swiss event prides itself on being a place to discover new talent outside the cinema mainstream.

"In Giona Nazzaro we have an ideal match for the artistic profile of the Locarno Film Festival," said Locarno president Marco Solari. "Expert and knowledgeable, already perfectly familiar with Locarno, equipped with the planning skills for our festival’s indispensable future innovations in the digital environment, a person who has an international mindset but also strong ties to Ticino [the canton to which Locarno belongs] and Switzerland." 

In a statement, Nazzaro said the Locarno festival has been an institution "which has always prioritized quality, auteur filmmaking and which today more than ever is a vital hotbed of ideas, looking creatively to the future of the moving image. I will be setting straight to work in the hope of being able to re-open the Piazza Grande, the beating heart of the Festival, and an iconic symbol of the resilience of cinema."