Locarno Festival: 'Germany, Year Zero,' 'Stranger Than Paradise' Among Lineup

Locarno Artistic Director Lili Hinstin

Filmmakers forced to interrupt production of their current features due to COVID-19 have picked titles from the festival's past seven decades, which will screen for Swiss audiences.

The Locarno Film Festival has unveiled the selection of historic titles that will screen this year as part of the Swiss event's special edition amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Art-house classics ranging from Roberto Rossellini's 1948 drama Germany, Year Zero to Jim Jarmusch's 1984 breakthrough Stranger Than Paradise to Yolande Zauberman's French feature M, which premiered at Locarno in 2018, have been selected by directors taking part in Locarno's Films After Tomorrow section. The filmmakers picked twenty emblematic titles from Locarno's back catalog, which stretches from 1948 to 2019.

"It would be an impossible task to present a review of the history of the Locarno Film Festival in its entirety," said Locarno artistic director Lili Hinstin. "This is the subjective journey that the Festival invites you to join us on this year, a journey led by the gaze of today’s filmmakers, who will also be the creators of the cinema of tomorrow."

The directors will all be presenting their own, unfinished new works at Locarno's online-only Films After Tomorrow event. They include such international arthouse favorites as Lav Diaz, who picked Michael Haneke's 1989 drama The Seventh Continent to present; Lucrecia Martel, whose Locarno pick was Martin Rejtman's 1992 feature Rapado; and Wang Bing, who chose Pedro Costa's Horse Money, a Locarno entry in 2014.

Locarno, like many international film festivals, was forced to cancel its regular program due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hinstin has restyled this year's festival to highlight in development productions and hopes to use the event to help support the hard-hit indie film industry restart post-COVID-19.