Locarno Critics Academy: 2022 edition and status of film criticism

For the tenth time in 11 years, the Locarno Film Festival welcomes 10 international film critics from different stages of development during the 10 days of the first-class Swiss festival.

Coming from places as far removed from Swiss resort towns as Bangalore, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro and Jakarta, participants in the Critics Academy’s anniversary edition come from an even more diverse matrix of backgrounds, disciplines, writing styles and interests with the opportunity to work with a abundance of key critics, programmers and filmmakers present in Locarno to interact face-to-face.

After a canceled edition in the first year of the pandemic and another for which there was no public call for tenders, Locarno’s incubator for emerging professional critics takes place again in the midst of an extraordinarily difficult moment for both the art and the commerce of cinema but also, perhaps even sharper to write about it.

While it’s easier than ever to connect across continents, access diverse films that were once far away, and freely publish one’s writing online, the professional dimension of the art form that Manny Farber once described as “the most perfect anything you can imagine”, heavily stratified, underpaid, non-union and fatally exposed to the vagaries of an ever-changing, atomized global film culture.

This year’s competitors are Dini Adanurani (Indonesia), Emily Jourdan (Switzerland), Laura Staab (UK), Aiman ​​Rizvi (Pakistan), Keva York (Australia), Sona Karapoghosyan (Armenia), Gabriel Linhares Falcão (Brazil) , Manel Domíguez (Spain), Andrew Northrup (UK) and Srikanth Srinivasan (India).

Together they reflect the need to adapt to this world: almost all also work as curators, translators, are in advanced studies or simply sing with non-cinematic means for supper and only turn to the cinema in their free time.

And yet our workshop in Locarno is expansive, joyful, and inherently upbeat, combining masterclasses with esteemed writers, professors, and magazine editors who have shaped both the past and present, including Kevin B. Lee, Laura Mulvey, and Bernard Eisenschitz, Doug Dibbern, Mark Peranson and Miguel Marías, and private encounters with popular filmmakers who visited Locarno, including Kelly Reichardt, Aleksandr Sokurov and Todd Haynes.

Critics Academy participants, selected from hundreds of applications at the end of spring, will have the opportunity to cover the festival for a variety of partner media, including MUBI Notebook, Swissinfo, the Locarno Daily, Indiewire, Film Comment and the digital daily of diversity released during the festival. Specialized workshops, all held on-site amidst the hubbub of the Swiss festival, cover everything from pitching to writing lyrics, navigating the world of industry and filing lyrics on time.

In addition to the Locarno Academy, the festival is home to a wealth of initiatives for young people, all of which are located under the umbrella of the Locarno Manufactory. Chief among these is Base Camp, which is returning to full bloom after the pandemic this year with 150 participants in a new temporary location. Starting this year, Base Camp and the Locarno Critics Academy have teamed up to support Outskirts Film Magazine, a new 162-page bi-annual print publication produced by former Critics Academy participants and launched and sold during the festival.

The Locarno Film Festival takes place from August 3rd to 13th.

Christopher Small organizes the Locarno Critics Academy.

https://variety.com/2022/film/global/locarno-critics-academy-1235334233/ Locarno Critics Academy: 2022 edition and status of film criticism

Charles Jones

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