Locarno's 'Open Doors' (Dedicated To Sub-Saharan African Filmmakers) Now Accepting Applications

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by Tambay A. Obenson
November 6, 2013 2:32 PM
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The twelfth edition of Open Doors, supported by the Swiss Foreign Ministry’s Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), will be dedicated to Sub-Saharan African cinema, following the spotlight on Francophone African countries in 2012. 

2014 will cover the following nations, which did not participate in 2012:

Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Southern Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Festival will select a dozen projects from the region to participate in Open Doors 2014. The objective of the co-production lab (August 9-12) is to bring the finalist projects’ directors and producers together with potential partners, to encourage support for these projects to come to fruition.

Open Doors will continue the new initiative introduced in 2013, whereby, in addition to enabling the selected directors and producers to meet possible partners, there are also workshops for professionals on related film industry issues, with individual meetings and panels on training and marketing. 

The four-day event will conclude with the awards. 

The Open Doors Grant, worth 50,000 CHF (about $55,000), is funded by the Open Doors initiative in collaboration with the Town of Bellinzona and the Swiss production support fund Visions Sud Est, also supported by the SDC. 

Two further awards are offered by the CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée) and by ARTE.

In addition to these initiatives for professionals, the section also offers the general Festival audience the Open Doors Screenings, which present a selection of films that are representative of production in the countries involved.

The initiative is organized in close collaboration with Locarno’s Industry Office and enjoys the support of ACE (Ateliers du Cinéma Européen), EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs) and the Producers Network Marché du Film (Festival de Cannes).

The 2014 edition of Open Doors is the first to be managed by Ananda Scepka, who succeeds Martina Malacrida

For this edition of Open Doors, the Festival is working with Alex Moussa Sawadogo, an expert in African cinema and director of the Afrikamera Festival in Berlin.

The 2014 edition is open for applications as of today, via www.opendoors.pardo.ch, for projects originating from any of the 25 countries listed above.

The 67th edition of the Festival del film Locarno will take place August 6 -16 2014.

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