Locarno Media City, the new audiovisual hub in Ticino


Institutional Communication Service

7 November 2019

Locarno Media City (LMC) is a new platform created jointly by the City of Locarno, Locarno Film Festival, Palacinema Locarno, Swisscom, and Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) that aims at making Locarno become a “media city", a city – and a region – where audiovisual media technologies will transform the way in which residents and visitors will experience culture, the territory and everyday life, and where new activities will be developed for the creative and the communicative in the field of film and audiovisual arts.   

The five partners, who thus undertake to consolidate existing collaborations within a framework initiative and to share new projects to identify and encourage internal and external synergies, making their expertise available to each other in a flexible and pragmatic way, signed a letter of intent that formerly launches the LMC platform today at the Palacinema Locarno..

"As a university we strive to be increasingly present and active in the region, not only individually, but also by seeking to 'federate' with other partners that can contribute to the innovation and development of the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland and thus create a genuine “system” together. Locarno Media City is one a many initiatives and proposals that fit into this perspective," notes the Rector of USI Boas Erez. "We are therefore happy that together with our partners we will be able to consolidate the network around an already existing and established “hub” such as the Festival, and we are happy to contribute to this joint effort to allow the further growth of the audiovisual hub in Ticino".

"Locarno must, and wants to, earn its place in the sun both by seeking quality and beauty and by taking on a clear and innovative profile with a view to the future. Hence, the desire to focus on the audiovisual sector, which has given so much to our city and that has still much more to give if we manage to play as a team. An audiovisual centre in Locarno is no longer a dream, it is a project. Our project", says Alain Scherrer, Mayor of the City of Locarno.

According to Marco Solari, President of the Locarno Film Festival: "In order to address the cultural and structural opportunities of the digital revolution and to remain a world-class event, it is necessary that all the parties involved join forces. The Locarno Media City project, which is the result of a constant dialogue with other entities in the City-Canton Ticino, is a further concrete step in this direction".

"This is a project of strategic importance for the development of an innovative digital platform at the service of the City and the Locarno Film Festival, made possible by the synergies developed within the Palacinema", says Carla Speziali, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Palacinema Locarno SA.

As Stefano Santinelli, CEO of Swisscom for the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, points out, "Swisscom's commitment to USI, Film Festival Locarno and Locarno (including Palacinema) is an excellent opportunity for us to work with our partners to shape the 'Locarno Media City', building a common media structure. And in this way we can carry out digitisation and marketing projects for the Festival, further develop projects for Smart City, for the media industry, training, architecture, IT and marketing, or develop services/products with other Media City stakeholders. Swisscom would participate in these projects and business models as a service and instrument provider.”


A platform for transformative projects

The projects presented in the context of Locarno Media City must be transformative and may concern both new products and new processes and new infrastructure initiatives in the field of cinema and media.     

The platform will be coordinated by a steering committee and does not imply financial obligations for the promoters: each individual project will have to ensure its own funding in order to be launched. In the future, the initiative could evolve into a competence centre that can be included in the context of the possible participation of the Canton Ticino in the Switzerland Innovation Park system.

The first Locarno Media City project will be a preliminary survey on the valorisation of the Locarno Film Festival Archives.