Locarno Film Festival Announces Slate for Open Doors Sidebar

Twelve movie projects from emerging filmmakers will vie for three prizes.

ROME – The Locarno Film Festival on Thursday announced the dozen projects that will appear in the year’s edition of the Open Doors co-production laboratory, which this time around will focus on films from French-speaking Sub-Saharan Africa.

The announcement is the first indication of new films that will appear at the 65-year-old lakeside festival, which will take place this year Aug. 1-11. Open Doors itself will run Aug. 4-7.

Officials said that some 213 applications from 17 countries were evaluated before selecting the 12 film projects that will be running for three prizes worth up to 50,000 Swiss francs ($59,000) each.

The well-regarded sidebar focused on Indian films last year, following Central Asian films in 2010 and Greater China the previous year.

Open Doors is the lakeside Swiss festival’s initiative that seeks to help emerging filmmakers finish promising projects and lock down distribution deals.

 The films selected are: Ailleurs (Away) by Burkina Faso director Leslie To; Senegal/Ghana director Akosua Adoma Owusu’s Black Sunshine; De la rue à l'école (From the Street to the School) from Senegal’s Pape Tall; Faso Fani, la fin du reve (Faso Fani, the End of the Dream) from Michel K. Zongo of Burkina Faso; Madagascar production Fragments de vies by Laza; Mali director Aissa Maiga’s Il Faut Quitter Bamako (We've Got to Leave Bamako); Senegalese production La prochaine fois, le Feu (Fire Next Time) from Mati Diop; Le President (The President) from Jean-Pierre Bekolo of Cameroon; Lombraz Kan (Shadows of the Sugarcane) from Mauritius’ David Constantin; Mali film Nye (The Eye) from Daouda Coulibaly; Pakitalaki, portrait d’une famille (Pakitalaki, Portrait of a Family) from Burkina Faso’s Adama Salle; and Cameroon director Jean-Marie Teno’s Toutes voiles dehors (Secret Faces).

“We are very happy about the quality and variety of the projects submitted,” said Martina Malacrida, the head of the Open Doors section.

The bulk of the Locarno lineup, including the in-competition lineup, will be announced in July.