The Locarno Film Festival awards gender-neutral acting awards

The Locarno Film Festival will switch to gender-neutral categories from the next edition in 2023.

The prominent Swiss festival dedicated to global indie cinema follows in the footsteps of the Berlin Film Festival, which presented its first gender-neutral acting prize in 2021.

Unlike Berlin, however, Locarno awards two gender-neutral awards for best performance in both the festival’s main competition and the Cineasti del Presente competition for first and second works.

When Berlin abolished the awards for best actor and best actress, they were replaced by gender-neutral awards for best leading role and best supporting role.

“As one of the first global festivals to usher in change, Locarno is already working to prepare next year’s 76th edition as an even more open and inclusive event, capable of fully representing its universe of talent,” it says in a statement from the festival.

The festival prides itself on being “a place for encounter and exchange where the value of diversity and minority voices is recognized as one of its strongest assets,” the statement added.

Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director of Locarno, said: “We believe the choice we have made will further enhance our efforts to showcase and reward talent and creativity, and go beyond individual categories that are now outdated. The world is moving in a way that is definitely non-binary.”

Marco Solari, President of the Locarno Festival, added: “As President, I welcome this proposal from the Artistic Director and his team, which responds perfectly to the changed sensibilities required today.”

The 76th edition of Locarno will take place from August 2nd to 12th, 2023. The Locarno Film Festival awards gender-neutral acting awards

Charles Jones

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