Markus Duffner Named Head of Locarno Pro

Markus Duffner
Locarno Film Festival

Markus Duffner

Duffner takes over the industry section of the Locarno Film Festival. 

The Locarno Film Festival has named Markus Duffner the new head of its industry section, Locarno Pro, effective as of Jan. 1. 

Duffner, who has worked with Locarno Pro since 2014 on its First Look and Match Me! projects, has been at the forefront of digital innovation at the festival. This year, as project manager, he launched Heritage Online, Locarno's VOD platform for the art house industry, which allows rights holders to upload their back catalogs and negotiate deals with VOD platforms worldwide. Duffner is also a co-founder of Spamflix, a cult-film streaming platform that launched in 2018. 

Locarno, like many film festivals this year, was forced to cancel in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the Swiss festival held an alternative online event that highlighted works-in-progress forced to halt production due to the outbreak.

Locarno went through further upheaval this fall when, in a surprise move, festival artistic director Lili Hinstin resigned after just two years on the job. She has been replaced by Italian film programmer and critic Giona A. Nazzaro

Locarno is set to hold its 74th edition Aug. 4-14, 2021, with Locarno Pro running Aug. 5-10. Organizers hope to hold an in-person event but note they "reserve the option" to go online-only if required by health and safety guidelines.