The Turinese journalist and film critic, aged 41, has published several books on film directors such as Errol Morris, Wong Kar Wai, Johan Van Der Keuken, Frederick Wiseman, Maurizio Nichetti, and Nicolas Philibert. As editor-in-chief of the Panoramiques magazine, he has often collaborated with the festival.
He was notably the curator for the Locarno retrospectives dedicated to Nanni Moretti, Manga Impact, Ernst Lubitsch, Vincente Minnelli, and Otto Preminger. And he has also been a member of the event’s selection committee.
Chatrian’s nomination, made public only a few days after Olivier Père announced that he would take up the post as head of Arte France Cinéma, has caught most observers by surprise. It seems to predict a profound change in style, if not the radical transformation of the Swiss film festival.
Chatrian’s very cinephile, even learned profile seems to point towards a move away from his predecessor’s more festive, light imprint on the festival’s last three editions. So seems to indicate the Italian’s impressively serious career path via the Cinéma du réel (Paris), the Courmayeur Noir Film Festival, the Turin National Film Museum, the Alba Film Festival (for which he was deputy director from 2001 to 2007), Florence’s Festival dei Popoli, and Nyon’s Visions du Réel — institutions all known worldwide for the exceptional rigor of their programming.
Chatrian, who spoke of the challenge of directing a festival that is “free, open to novelty, and mindful both of the professionals’ requirements and the audience’s taste”, will assume his functions as artistic director from November 1, 2012.
(Emmanuel Cuénod for Cineuropa.org)