60 years of teaching cinematographic language in Locarno


In 1960, on the occasion of the 13th edition of the Locarno International Film Festival, the Department of Public Education of the Canton of Ticino organized for the first time three days of study with the title "Giovani e Cinema" (Youth and Film), in which participated teachers and students from Ticino and French-speaking Switzerland. On this occasion, various conferences were organized on the relationship between cinema and the world of youth. In 1963, these days were first called Cinema&Gioventù (Cinema&Youth). The courses for young people were held by Freddy Buache (recently deceased and former director of the Festival, co-founder of the Lausanne National Film Library) and Freddy Landry (critic and producer, major protagonist of the "new Swiss cinema" at the time), on French cinema, young Polish cinema and the western genre. The following year, is created the first Jury, entirely composed of young people, which saw, evaluated and rewarded the best films presented in Locarno.


In the following years, the various personalities invited to the departmental initiative met the young people and contributed, in different ways, to the history of the seventh art. We mention some of them such as Francis Reusser, Yves Yersin, Pio Baldelli, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Marie Straub, Michel Soutter.

The Cinema&Gioventù days at the Locarno Festival gradually increased in the 1970s and 1980s, reaching the same length as the film festival in 1989. In the 1990s, the initiative was enriched by the creation of a second and a third Youth Jury and an introductory course in the language of cinema. Even the meetings with the "experts" present in Locarno for the Festival editions, have been held each year. The young participants had the opportunity to meet important characters like Alberto Sordi, Jean-Luc Bideau, Laura Morante, Bruno Ganz, Nanni Moretti, Vittorio Storaro, Amos Gitai, Rudger Hauer, to name but a few of the best known in the world of seventh art. In the meantime, Cinema&Gioventù's initial group of animators has naturally changed several times, but can still count on competent, enthusiastic people who are willing to work with young people, making them discover and appreciate the different aspects and characteristics of this specific artistic world.



Among the hundreds of young people who have experienced this event, there are many who, in one way or another, have continued to cultivate and increase their interest in film, becoming for many of them their field of study and professional career. At each edition of the Festival, it is therefore easy to meet former young people from C&G, who have since become actors, directors and film professionals. Among them, we will mention Frédéric Maire (former young participant of C&G in 1979, former director of the Festival, currently director of the Cinémathèque suisse in Lausanne) and Michele Jannuzzi (communication expert and main creator of the graphic image of the Locarno Film Festival).

For several years now, the Cinema&Gioventù project has been managed by Castellinaria Festival del cinema giovane in Bellinzona, under the specific mandate of the Department of Education, Culture and Sport of the Canton of Ticino, and thus finds its natural place within the most prestigious Locarno Film Festival.


With the 2019 edition, Cinema&Gioventù will therefore celebrate its 60th anniversary in Locarno, always with the same initial objectives: to bring our young people closer to the world of cinema in an analytical, critical and intelligent way, while giving them the opportunity to meet young people of the same age, from different regions of Switzerland and even, sometimes, from neighbouring countries. For this 60th edition of C&G, we will be able to count on the presence of 28 young people from Ticino, French-speaking Switzerland, German-speaking Switzerland, Italy, Germany and France. The young people will work again this year in the three juries officially recognized by the Festival, they will meet different characters present at the Festival, they will learn to approach cinema in a critical and intelligent way and finally they will appreciate the pleasure of living a unique, enriching and fascinating experience in Locarno.


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