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2014 Locarno Open Doors Spotlight on Sub-Saharan African Cinema Selections List Excites

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by Tambay A. Obenson
June 30, 2014 11:53 AM
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Locarno 2014

An annual co-production event of note, the Locarno Film Festival Open Doors Co-production Lab, which, this year, is dedicated to Sub-Saharan Africa - especially to the English and Portuguese speaking countries, has revealed the 12 projects that will be brought to Locarno by their directors and producers, to meet with and present to potential international partners in areas of financing, and distribution especially.

This year's class It follows the 2012 edition, which put a spotlight on Francophone African countries. 

With the support of the Swiss Foreign Ministry’s Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Open Doors aims to support and highlight filmmakers from under-represented regions in the world (in terms of global cinema).

The projects selected for the twelfth edition, which takes place from August  9 - 12, include films by filmmakers whose names will be familiar to some of you, given that we've highlighted them and their past work on this blog in previous years. It's always exciting to see them continue on to prominence. 

• "Aleluia" by Zézé Gamboa (Angola)
• "Faraway Friends" by Teboho Edkins (South Africa /Lesotho)
• "Fig Tree" by Alamork Marsha (Ethiopia/Israel)
• "First Man" by Jahmil X.T. Qubeka (South Africa)
• "Heart and Fire" by Sol de Carvalho (Mozambique)
• "Hot Comb" by Caroline Kamya (Uganda/Holland)
• "I Am Not a Witch" by Rungano Nyoni (Zambia/France)
• "Kula: A Memory in Three Acts" by Inadelso Cossa (Mozambique)
• "Territorial Pissings" by Sibs Shongwe-La Mer (South Africa)
• "The Mercy of the Jungle" by Joel Karekezi (South Africa/Rwanda/Belgium)
• "The Train of Salt and Sugar" by Licinio de Azevedo (Mozambique/Portugal)
• "Unbalanced" by P. Sam Kessie (Ghana)

I'll return with individual highlights of the above projects. Based on what I already know of a handful of them (as well as the filmmakers behind them - like Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, Rungano Nyoni, P. Sam Kessie, and others), there's much to get excited about, and I'm looking forward to finding out more about what these filmmakers are cooking up for us.

The filmmakers will meet with international co-producers, financiers, distributors and more, over the course of 4 days, which will end with 3 projects awarded based with cash prizes totaling about $75,000.

The 2014 edition further enhances its training initiative with, in addition to workshops for the participants, a new partnership with the Torino Film Lab offers a writing guidance program. Also, offered by the Cannes Film Market’s Producers Network: 3 producers of projects presented at Open Doors will have the opportunity to participate in this prestigious event at the 2015 Cannes Festival.

Open Doors is organized in close collaboration with the Locarno Festival’s Industry Office and enjoys the support of the partners ACE (Ateliers du Cinéma Européen), EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs) and the Marché du Film Producers Network (Cannes Festival). As was the case in 2012, the Festival will rely on assistance from Alex Moussa Sawadogo, an expert on African cinema, and director of the Afrikamera festival in Berlin.

The twelfth edition of Open Doors will take place August 9 – 12 as part of the 67th Festival del film Locarno, August 6 – 16, 2014.

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