Locarno Festival teams up with Festival Scope to stream films for free
James R | On 06, Aug 2018
The Locarno Festival is streaming a number of this year’s festival titles online for free.
The event, which sees the Swiss-Italian town become the world capital of auteur cinema for 11 days every August, has entertained audiences in Europe for 70 years, sharing new discoveries among film fans and industry professionals. Over the years, its eclectic programming has welcomed everyone from Marlene Dietrich and Jean-Luc Godard to Quentin Tarantino and Adrien Brody. In 2018, its 71st year, it’s welcoming people from around the world by taking its festival online.
The relationship between digital video and film festivals has been a rapidly evolving one in recent years. While Cannes made headlines in May for its dispute with Netflix over the streaming giant screening titles there that would not be released in French cinema, other festivals have actively embraced the potential to reach wider audiences. Sundance has become a streaming-friendly marketplace for Amazon Prime Video and Netflix to battle it out with HBO. MyFrenchFilmFestival, meanwhile, skips third parties entirely and showcases new and old films by making them available to watch online for a month every spring.
Amid this shifting landscape, Festival Scope has become a hub for film festival lovers that are unable to get to the main event – or for film festival attendees who can’t fit in everything they want to watch within their tightly packed schedule. Initially a service for industry professonials, buyers and press – this service continues today – the platform has opened itself up as a handy resource for cinema lovers to catch the kind of smaller festival gems that are unlikely to secure theatrical distribution in the UK.
Last year, the Venice Film Festival (which will welcome Amazon’s Suspiria and Netflix’s The Other Side of the Wind restoration this summer) screened a number of titles on Festivl Scope for the small fee of €4 each. This year, Locarno is going one better, with nine films from its Cineasti del Presente competition available for free, even after the festival has finished.
The event runs until 11th August 2018, but online users have until 31st August to stream films from around the world, while also joining with the festival by voting for the Cinelab Award. There are a couple of catches: each film has a limited number of “tickets” available, while individual users can only watch each movie once on Festival Scope (you can pause and resume or restart at your leisure).
Locarno’s partnership with Festival Scope builds on its other long-running streaming partnership with MUBI. The subscription service, which costs £7.99 a month, regularly acquires movies from the festival to stream at a later date, and is currently showcasing a string of highlights from the 2017 festival, including Le Fort Des Fous, Meteors and (from 8th August) Cocote. For more information on that, click here.
Here’s the rundown of the titles available – get watching over at www.festivalscope.com.
Young and Alive – Matthieu Bareyre
In the months following the terrorist attacks in Paris, the youth have seized the nights, looking for a sense of belonging in a world they have ceased to understand. Seeking to change the rules, led by new faces, driven by their values and ideals, they open a new dialogue, challenge the state and are getting ready for a new kind of revolution.
Sophia Antipolis – Virgil Vernier
Sophia Antipolis: a technopole on the French Riviera, a place where dreams should come true. But fear and despair lurk beneath the surface. Under a deceitful sun, five lives map out the haunting story of a young woman: Sophia.
Long Way Home – André Novais Oliveira
In order to take a new job as an employee in the public sanitation department, Juliana moves from the inner city of Itaúna to the metropolitan town of Contagem in Brazil. While waiting for her husband to join her, she adapts to her new life, meeting people and discovering new horizons, trying to overcome her past.
Suburban Birds – Qiu Sheng
Some ground subsidence has occurred in a suburban area and a team of engineers, including Hao, are dispatched to investigate the cause. After days of wandering around in the empty suburb looking for answers and carrying his heavy gear, Hao walks into a primary school where he finds a diary chronicling the story of a boy and the separation of what seems to be an intimate group. As the investigation keeps going, Hao discovers that this diary might contain prophecies about his own life.
Those Who Work – Antoine Russbach
Frank, a man of action who worked his way up all by himself, dedicates his life to work. No matter the place or the circumstances, be it day or night, he’s on the phone, handling the cargo ships he charters for major companies. But when he has to deal with a crisis situation, Frank makes a brutal decision and gets fired. Profoundly shaken, betrayed by a system to which he gave his all, he has to progressively question himself to save the one connection that still matters to him: the bond he’s managed to maintain with his youngest daughter, Mathilde.
Closing Time – Nicole Vögele
Mr. Kuo and his wife Mrs. Lin cook for the city’s sleepless. They work all night and sleep during the day, like many others in buzzing Taipei. Until one morning, riding back from the market, Mr. Kuo takes a different exit on the highway…
Closing Time is a cinematographic meditation on in-between moments – a kaleidoscopic journey relying on colours, sensations and the materials of life. An attempt at capturing time, an exercise in just seeing.
Trote – Xacio Baño
Carme lives in a mountain village in Galicia with her sick mother and father Ramón, with whom she hardly speaks. Working in a bakery, she feels the urge to escape from this oppressive atmosphere, but circumstances always seem to stop her. But during the “Rapa das Bestas” weekend – a celebration of the age-old struggle between man and horse – Carme’s older brother, Luís, comes home with his wife María…
Faust – Andrea Bussmann
On the Oaxacan coast of Mexico, rumblings of previous times are never far from the surface. Tales of shapeshifting, telepathy and dealings with the Devil are embedded in the colonization and enslavement of the Americas. Characters from the Faust legend mingle with the inhabitants, while attempting to colonize and control nature through a seemingly never-ending building project. Through literature, myth and local entanglements, the frontier between reality and fiction, and the seen and unseen, no longer apply.
We Are Thankful – Joshua Magor
In the township of Mphopomeni in the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa, Siyabonga, a young man, puts up theatre plays. When he hears about a movie that will be shot in a nearby town, he makes it his mission to be part of it. From conspiring with a maid to steal wifi from the “umlungus” (white people) so he can write an email to the film producers to using witchcraft, Siyabonga does all he can to improve his life and take control of his fortune. And after travelling many surprising roads, he’ll finally meet the film’s director. Siyabonga is born out of their encounter.