The Swiss festival said today the decision was made “by mutual agreement”.
“Having acknowledged their diverging strategic views, the Locarno Film Festival and Lili Hinstin have decided by mutual consent to follow separate ways,” the festival said.
“The Locarno Film Festival would like to express its gratitude to Lili Hinstin for her intense work in the artistic field over the past two years and wishes her all the best for the future.”
The executive board are due to meet soon to discuss the succession plan.
Hinstin only assumed the role of artistic director at the end of 2018, elected by a unanimous board decision.
The festival was cancelled this year due to the pandemic but rather than going online it launched a new program called Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films.
The picturesque and well-attended late summer event generally has a good roster of international art-house and some more mainstream movies. It also offers a solid lineup of industry events and development and funding opportunities.
Hinstin was previously artistic director of the Entrevues Belfort – Festival International du Film in France. From 2005 to 2009 she was responsible for the film-related activities of the Academy of France in Rome, and from 2011 to 2013 she was also deputy artistic director of the Paris–based international Film Festival Cinéma du Réel.