Locarno Film Festival Names 12 Finalists for Co-Production Lab

Piazza Grande
Reto Albertalli/AFP/Getty Images

Locarno's vast open-space screening area the Piazza Grande will welcome several current Hollywood films including J.J. Abrams' "Super 8,"  Justin Timberlake-Mila Kunis comedy "Friends With Benefits" and "Cowboys & Aliens."

The films selected for the 11th Open Doors initiative come from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

ROME – The Open Doors co-production lab at the Locarno Film Festival announced the 12 finalists vying for three prizes worth up to 50,000 Swiss francs ($54,000) each at this year's edition of the Swiss festival.

Open Doors this year, its 11th edition, focuses on the South Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, following previous focuses on French-speaking sub-Sahara Africa, India, Central Asia, and China.

The 66th edition of the picturesque lakeside festival will take place August 7-17, with Open Doors itself conducted August 10-13.

Among the selected projects is Long Gardens from Nika Shek and Sarik Hovsepyan, a rare co-production between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which are traditional enemies.

The other 11 projects selected are Abysm from Oksana Mirzoyan (Armenia), Rusudan Glurjidze’s House of Others (Georgia/France), George Ovashvili’s Khibula (Georgia/France/Germany), Madona from Nino Gogua (Georgia), Naked in Baku from Arzu Gulijeva (Azerbaijan/Estonia), Pipeline from Asif Rustamov (Azerbaijan/Germany), Alexander Kvatashidze’s See you in Chechnya (Georgia/France/Estonia/Netherlands), Rusudan Pirveli’s Sleeping Lessons (Georgia), Territoria from Nora Martirosyan (Armenia/Switzerland/France), Levon Minasian’s The Second Journey (Armenia) and The Valley from Arsen Azatyan and Narine Mkrtchyan (Armenia).

The 12 project presentations are available online, from the festival website.

In addition to a chance to compete for the 50,000 Swiss franc main prize and two smaller runner-up awards, the projects will be eligible for special training initiatives, meetings with industry professionals, and a chance to lock down distribution deals.

The festival previously announced it would give one of its lifetime achievement prizes to Otar Iosseliani, the Georgian filmmaker living in France.

The full Locarno lineup will be announced in July.

Twitter: @EricJLyman