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Locarno: Dawood Hilmandi’s ‘Badeszenen’ and We Ra’s ‘One Summer Day’ Win Open Doors Top Awards

Open Doors Lab grants prizes for first time

LOCARNO, Switzerland —  Dawood Hilmandi’s “Badeszenen” and We Ra’s “One Summer Day” won the biggest awards at the Locarno Festival’s Open Doors co-production forum.

A magic-realistic tale, ”Badeszenen” is produced by Mohamed Husain Naikzad at Bamiyan Film Production with offices in Afghanistan and Amsterdam. It follows Yoro, a motherless 12-year-old kid who serves his father’s two new wives . He finds solace in his colorful and warm imagination. The jury praised “Badeszenen’s” “strong and outstanding visual concept in which the director invites us to join the journey of a boy between reality and imagination.”

“Thank you everyone who really believes in the power of imagination,” Hilmandi, born in Afghanistan, but based in Amsterdam, said at the prize ceremony. “Badeszenen” won a 36,000 Open Doors grant, We Ra’s “One Summer Day,” won a second, worth $15,500.

We Ra’s “Day” is produced by Myanmar’s Green Age and is the director’s first feature after shorts “The Robe,” and “Side Glance of a Dragon,”

”Day” turns on a pregnant rural doctor from the ‘Mon’ minority ethnic group who has taken care of her sixteen-year-old brother since their parents died during Myanmar’s civil war. One day, the boy is recruited by the army, but her sister battles to retrieve him from a military camp.

Praising “the strength of the plot,” the Open Doors jury said that  personal story symbolically stood for the current situation in its country.”

“‘Day’ is a story of love between a brother and a sister. But inside that it tries to explore contemporary issues in Myanmar through the Burmese youth and society,” We Ra told Variety.

“Day” also snagged the CNC Award, worth €8,000 ($9,454).

Carrying a cash prize of $7,904 the Arte Award, given by the European broadcaster, went to Rubaiyat Hossain’s “Made in Bangladesh,” from Bangladesh-based Khona Talkies. Hossain’s first feature kicks off when a pregnant woman, a young factory worker, dies in a fire accident, triggering a workers protest.

The Open Doors Lab –  a second branch of Open Doors initiative– centers on emerging producers or filmmakers. It granted awards this year for the first time. The eight selected producers or filmmakers came from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The TorinoFilmLab Award went to Jami Mahmood from Pakistan’s Azadfilms). Sri Lanka’s Rasitha Jinasena at Sky Entertainers took the Open Doors to development Initiative Film Grant and a Special Mention from Initiative Film went to Jawed Taiman, at Afghanistan’s Tora Bora Media.

OPEN DOORS AWARD

“Badeszenen,” (Dawood Hilmandi, Afghanistan)

“One Summer Day,” (We Ra Aung, Myanmar)

CNC AWARD

“One Summer’s Day,” (We Ra Aung)

ARTE INTERNATIONAL OPEN DOORS PRIZE

“Made In Bangladesh,” (Rubaiyat Hossain, Bangladesh)

OPEN DOORS LAB AWARDS

TORINOFILMLAB AWARD

Jami Mahmood (Azadfilms, Pakistan)

OPEN DOORS TO DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE FILM GRANT

Rasitha Jinasena (Sky Entertainers, Sri Lanka)

SPECIAL MENTION

Jawed Taiman (Initiative Film, Afghanistan)

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