ROME – The Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors Co-Production Lab, dedicated to cinematographies in areas where making movies is especially tough, will be focussing on eight countries in South Asia over the next three years: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
“With this new approach, Open Doors intends to take its support to world cinema a step further,” enthused fest topper Carlo Chatrian in a statement. “The possibility of working on the same region, over a three-year period enables us to respond more effectively to the needs of professionals and the selected projects,” he added.
The choice of this largely cinematically unexplored region is part of Locarno’s “research remit” to explore cinematographies that are relatively or totally unknown, but with great potential.
The unique initiative’s new format will have three aspects: the Open Doors Hub, Lab, and Screenings.
Every year up to eight projects from South Asian countries will be selected to participate in the Open Doors Hub which will run in Locarno August 6 – 9 2016. This is where the projects’ producers and directors will be able to connect with potential co-producers, sales agents and distributors and, of course, funding coin.
At the end of the four-day session, the Open Doors Jury will award the Open Doors Prize, worth $49,000, mostly financed by the Swiss production fund Visions Sud Est.
The Open Doors Lab, which will run August 4 – 9, will offer a specially tailored programme for a small group of industryites from some of the region’s countries, with priority given to emerging producers/filmmakers producers, possibly with a project in development. These professionals will also benefit from contact and networking with the fest’s European and international industry guests.
In 2016 the Open Doors Lab will concentrate on Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal.
These countries will also be highlighted at the Open Doors Screenings, which will feature a selection of particularly representative films from these territories.
The 2016 edition of Open Doors will be run, for the first time, by veteran film industry expert and former sales agent Sophie Bourdon, who for the past four years has worked as a consultant for the fest on its expanding industry side and on its Locarno Summer Academy training program.
Open Doors is organized in close collaboration with the Festival del film Locarno’s Industry Office and enjoys the support of ACE (Ateliers du Cinéma Européen), EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs), Producers Network Marché du Film (Cannes Festival) and the TorinoFilmLab.
The 69th edition of the Locarno film fest, dedicated to indie cinema, will run August 3-13, 2016 in the lakeside town located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland.