The Locarno Festival’s Open Doors platform dedicated to nurturing cinema in areas where filmmaking is especially tough is continuing its focus on South-East Asia this year with a selection of projects being unveiled from Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Mongolia, including several market previews.
The Swiss festival’s pioneering industry initiative – which will also see selected producers from these countries participating in an online training and networking program – is a good fit with the “Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films” format focussed on works-in-progress taken on in its virtual iteration after Locarno’s physical edition was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Production teams of projects selected for the Open Doors co-production hub will meet on dedicated online platforms with prospective partners for presentations and pitches during the first week of Locarno 2020 that will run August 6-11.
Open Doors chief Sophie Bourdon in a statement said the selection for the first time comprises an animation feature, Filipino director Avid Liongoren’s “Zsa Zsa Zatumnah vs the Amazonistas of Planet X.” It’s a mix of younger discoveries and more established names such as Indonesia’s Mouly Surya, whose “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts” was in the 2017 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight; Thailand’s Anucha Boonyawatana whose “Malila: The Farewell Flower” went to Busan, and Isabel Sandoval, from the Philippines, whose first feature”Senorita” was at Locarno, in the Filmmakers of the Present section, in 2011.
As part of Locarno 2020 to further promote cinema from South-East Asia, screenings of older films from countries that are the focus of Open Doors will be offered for viewing on the fest’s platform and be made accessible to everyone.
The projects selected for the Open Doors Hub are:
“Fruit Gathering,” by Aung Phyoe (Myanmar, France, Czech Republic)
“Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell” (Bên Trong Vỏ Kén Vàng) by Pham Thien An (Vietnam, Singapore, France)
“The Godmothers,” by Anucha Boonyawatana (Thailand, U.S.)
“This City is a Battlefield” (Perang Kota) by Mouly Surya (Indonesia)
“Tropical Gothic” by Isabel Sandoval (Philippines)
“Oasis of Now” by Chee Sum Chia (Malaysia)
“Ze” by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir (Mongolia, France)
“Zsa Zsa Zatumnah vs the Amazonistas of Planet X” by Avid Liongoren (Philippines, France)
The producers/directors who will participate in the Open Doors Lab are:
Darung Mony, Studio4, Cambodia
Lomorpich Rithy, PlerngKob, Cambodia
Vannaphone Sitthirath, Lao New Wave Cinema Productions , Laos
Choo Mun Bel, Sixtymac Production , Malaysia
Lamin Oo, Tagu Films, Myanmar
Uran Sainbileg, IFI Production , Mongolia
Supatcha Thipsena, Mobile Lab Project , Thailand
Kyle Nieva, Screen Asia , Philippines
Nguyen Luong Hang, EAST Films , Vietnam