Recognized worldwide as a showcase and forum for cinema, since 1946 the Locarno Film Festival has provided a platform for free confrontation and exchange between major cultural, social and political currents. In order to preserve the invaluable legacy of the event’s history, so rich in ideas and personalities, four of Switzerland’s leading cultural institutions - the Festival itself, Cinémathèque suisse, RSI and Università della Svizzera italiana - have agreed to a joint effort in a wide-ranging project to preserve and optimize the opportunities for use of the archives, which will be transferred to the research and archive center of Cinémathèque suisse in Penthaz, canton of Vaud.
Phase one of the project will involve a campaign of cataloguing, identifying and digitizing materials led by Cinémathèque suisse at its research and archive center in Penthaz. The partner institutions will contribute with their specific knowhow, and in a later phase will put forward specific projects for turning the resources into living materials that can open a conversation between past and present, nurturing liberal and democratic perspectives in the process.
Monica Duca Widmer , President of the University Council at USI, emphasized that "each of the four partners will be bringing its own special skills and knowhow to this joint effort. USI brings the knowledge and methodologies of its departments, which will put forward research projects and promotional initiatives for the catalogued materials. The wealth of archival content will enable a broad range of extremely interesting research projects in a variety of ambits: from Humanities to digital technologies, from art history to Artificial Intelligence. I am convinced that this joint venture will soon bear fruit in ways that will allow this legacy to be exploited in the best way possible, both by the Festival’s many fans and by society at large."