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Locarno launches brand-new Green Film Fund, WWF-backed award


- The Swiss gathering has announced the creation of a new prize, the Pardo Verde, and commits to providing financial support for films tackling environmental issues

Locarno launches brand-new Green Film Fund, WWF-backed award
The new Pardo Verde Award (© Locarno Film Festival)

The Locarno Film Festival, unspooling this year from 3-13 August, is going green and has announced two important, environmentally orientated initiatives. The first is the creation of a new award, called the Pardo Verde and backed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The accolade will be bestowed upon the film in competition that best reflects an ecological issue and offers “audiences new and challenging interpretations that inspire change”. It will consist of a bright-green version of Locarno’s traditional Golden Leopard award statuette.

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The second commitment is the launch of a new Green Film Fund aimed at providing financial support for films that tackle environmental issues. The fund will operate similarly to the festival’s The Films After Tomorrow programme, which kicked off in 2020 during the pandemic and turned Locarno into an actual financial backer of independent film projects. The festival disclosed that it plans to use “thematic film funds” increasingly in the coming years to strengthen its position “as a catalyst for change and rethink the future of cinema”. More details about this new fund are set to be finalised and revealed at a later stage. For the time being, we know that the total value of the pot will be six figures and that the fund may back up to three projects a year.

Over the last decade, the Swiss gathering has been particularly sensitive to ecological issues and the ongoing climate crisis, and it has been a climate-neutral event since 2010.

“We are beginning a new chapter in the history of the Locarno Film Festival, an event that has always been alert to the urgent issues of the day. Sustainability is a core need on which contemporary society must concentrate its efforts. At this moment in time, we need to rethink our approach and find new tools to tackle the challenges of the future. A cultural event like Locarno can act to generate, foster and disseminate a new perspective by incentivising films and filmmakers that respect the ecosystem and tell new stories capable of raising public awareness,” stated Locarno managing director Raphaël Brunschwig.

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