Locarno Announces Plans to Upgrade Filmmakers of the Present Sidebar

Bigger prizes and competitive format are the main changes to the event for emerging directors.

ROME – The Locarno Film Festival announced Friday that it would revamp and upgrade its Filmmakers of the Present sidebar to increase its visibility, making it the festival’s second competitive section.

The change will also increase prizes to winners, including a new prize: the Best Emerging Director prize, worth 40,000 Swiss francs ($45,000), an increase of a third compared to last year’s top prize in the sidebar. The sidebar’s second prize, for the top emerging director, will be worth half as much as the main prize.

The Filmmakers of the Present sidebar will be made up of about 15 feature films and documentaries, all world or international premieres and all from young directors with their first or second production. It will join Locarno’s prestigious main competition section as the festival’s only competitive sections.

The 65th edition of picturesque lakeside Swiss festival will take place this year Aug. 1-11.