Fest focuses on Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan

ROME — The Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors co-production mart will focus on films from Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan this year.

The prominent Swiss fest dedicated to international indie cinema has recruited Russian and Euro-Asian cinema expert Joel Chapron, who is also a Unifrance collaborator, as consultant in selecting a dozen participating projects from these countries in the region known as South Caucasus, spanning Asia and Europe.

Film industry in this area is growing. Countries participating at next year’s Open doors have all submitted candidates for best foreign language at the 2013 Oscars.

Purpose of the mart/workshop, which will run Aug. 10-13, is to help selected projects connect with co-production partners, especially European producers.

Open Doors also assigns a prize worth 50,000 Swiss Francs ($54,000), and other smaller cash nods offered by Gaul’s CNC and broadcaster ARTE.

The format is being modified with one-on-one meetings to be scheduled in the morning and panels and presentations in the afternoon.

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

Locarno will have its 66th edition Aug. 7-17.

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