Locarno's Carte Blanche to Focus on Chile in 2013

Piazza Grande
Reto Albertalli/AFP/Getty Images

Locarno's vast open-space screening area the Piazza Grande will welcome several current Hollywood films including J.J. Abrams' "Super 8,"  Justin Timberlake-Mila Kunis comedy "Friends With Benefits" and "Cowboys & Aliens."

Carte Blanche features a top prize of nearly $11,000, plus meetings between producers and buyers, festival programers, and other industry figures.

ROME – The Locarno Film Festival announced Friday that the next edition of its three-year-old Carte Blanche showcase for films in post-production will focus on Chile.

With the selection of Chile as the focus country, Carte Blanche remains in Latin America after its focus on Mexico earlier this year and Colombia in its inagural edition in 2011.

It also means that it will be the second consecutive year that Chile has a major presence at the Locarno event: at the last festival, Pablo Larrian’s tale of Chile’s 1998 referendum on Augusto Pinochet, No -- since selected as Chile’s official candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars -- screened to an enthusiastic response in Locarno’s 8,000-seat Piazza Grande venue.

The announcement is the first from Locarno since Italian journalist, author, and festival programmer Carlo Chatrian was appointed as the festival’s new artistic director Sept. 4, following the surprise departure of Oliver Pere. Chatrian will formally take over the new post Nov. 1.

Officials said that either five or six Chilean films in post-production will be selected in collaboration CinemaChile and Australab, the film market lab at Chile’s Valdivia International Film Festival. The producers of the selected films will be in Locarno to present their projects to industry professionals, including screenings for sales companies, buyers, festival programmers, and film funding organizations. Additionally, a jury will award a cash prize of 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,750) to the best film.

At the last Locarno festival, in August, the winning film was Las Lagrimas (the Tears) directed by Pablo Delgado Sanchez and produced by Guillermo Ortiz Picharo.

Carte Blanche is part of an array of initiatives in Locarno for industry professionals, including the Open Doors co-production lab and the Industry Screenings market event.

The 66th edition of the lakeside Swiss festival will take place August 7-17, 2013.