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Locarno Film Festival Confirms Maja Hoffmann As New President – Deadline

Maja Hoffmann has been officially confirmed as President of the Locarno Film Festival following a vote at an Extraordinary General Assembly on Wednesday.

She replaces long-time festival President Marco Solari who held the position for 23 years.

Hoffmann’s appointment was announced over the summer but was not made official until being put to the vote.

A descendant of legendary Swiss entrepreneur Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, Hoffmann is known internationally as an art collector and philanthropist.

She is the founder of the Zurich-based LUMA Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting contemporary artists, and is also involved in a raft of art institutions worldwide including the Swiss Institute New York, the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles, the Serpentine Galleries in London and the Kunsthalle Zürich.

Wednesday’s meeting also set in motion a revision of the festival’s governance structure and voted in first members of the board.

Key changes are the reduction in the size of the board, from 27 members to a maximum of seven, and the creation of two new advisory boards.

In first board appointments, Hoffmann will be joined by Luigi Pedrazzini, former State Councillor of the Canton of Ticino and an outgoing member of the board of directors of Swiss broadcaster SRG SSR, in the role of Vice-President.

Further new board members comprise Locarno mayor Alain Scherrer; long-time Locarno Film Festival collaborator Nadia Dresti, and top Swiss lawyer Jean-Philippe Rochat.

Two additional board members will be announced over the coming months for ratification at the next general assembly in 2024.

Under plans for the new advisory boards, one board, called the Policy Advisory Board, will be chaired by Scherrer and will provide support in cultural, economic and institutional spheres.

A second board, called the Industry Advisory Board, will be led by Dresti. According to a note from Locarno, this board “will bring together multiple and diverse industry competences to ensure the festival’s activities remain at the forefront of the cinematographic world.”

Among the first tasks of the new Board of Directors will be the appointment of the representatives of the two Advisory Boards.

Responding to the confirmation of her appointment, Hoffmann said she was ‘honored and excited” to take on the mantle of Locarno Film Festival president.

“Under Marco Solari’s leadership, the festival has changed forever how we all think about film and filmmakers in Switzerland and the world. The festival has made the art of film a central part of a vibrant cultural life in the region of Ticino,” she said.

“I look forward to working with the entire team, led by Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director, and Raphaël Brunschwig, Managing Director, to build on the festival’s reputation as one of the most innovative, adventurous and inclusive film festivals in the world.”

Hoffmann will be the president of 77th edition of the Locarno Film Festival running August 7-17, 2024.

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