Locarno Fest's Open Doors Co-Pro Lab to Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa

Open Doors is the Swiss fest’s initiative to help filmmakers finish projects and get distribution deals.


ROME – The Locarno Film Festival announced Friday that the Open Doors co-production lab will focus on French speaking Sub-Saharan Africa at 2012 edition.

The well-regarded Open Doors event last year focused on India, the third consecutive year the event focused on Asia, following Central Asia in 2010 and Greater China a year earlier.

Open Doors is the Swiss festival’s initiative aimed at helping up-and-coming filmmakers finish projects and seal distribution deals. The festival awards cash pries and helps connect filmmakers with producers and distributors. It usually features around a dozen filmmakers from the geographic area of focus.

The festival said that as of Friday it is accepting applications from aspiring filmmakers from any of the two-dozen countries in francophone Sub-Saharan Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, and Togo.

The festival also announced the sidebar will feature contributions from Alex Moussa Sawadogo, an expert on African cinema and director of the Afrikamera festival in Berlin.

The 65th edition of the lakeside Swiss festival will take place August 1-11, 2012, while the Open Doors event will run August 4-7, with three film projects winning prizes worth up to 50,000 Swiss francs ($58,000).