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Locarno opens doors to Africa

Mart to focus on French-speaking Sub-Saharan countries

ROME — The Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors co-production mart will focus on French-speaking Sub-Saharan Africa this year.

The prominent Swiss fest has recruited African cinema specialist Alex Moussa Sawadogo, who is director of Berlin’s AfriKamera film festival, as consultant in selecting a dozen participating projects to be announced in May 2012.

Open Doors this year is open to submissions from: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Djbouti, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles and Togo.

Purpose of the mart/workshop, which will run Aug. 4-7, is to help selected projects connect with co-production partners, especially European producers.

Open Doors also assigns a prize worth 50.000 Swiss Francs ($58,000), and other smaller cash nods offered by Gaul’s CNC and broadcaster ARTE.

Previous editions of Open Doors have focused on Central Asia, Greater China and, last year, India.

Locarno, which is dedicated to indie pics and cutting-edge fare, will have its 65th edition Aug. 1-11.

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