Locarno sidebar boasts 300 titles

Open Doors gets three times more films than last year

ROME -- More than 300 projects have been submitted for the Latin America-focused Open Doors sidebar at the 61st Locarno Film Festival, nearly three times more than a year ago, Locarno organizers said Friday.

This year's focus is on Latin America, and projects were submitted from 18 countries, with the lion's share arriving from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Mexico. But the festival said filmmakers from even small Latin American countries have applied to participate.

Open Doors is a competitive sidebar that selects in-production projects and helps to further develop them through funding and production help. The list of 300 projects will be whittled to 12 before the Aug. 6-16 Swiss lakeside festival, with the winners announced during the event.

"Judging from the number of projects received, the potential for Latin American cinema far exceeds what we normally see at festivals," Locarno artistic director Frederic Maire said.

The Open Doors Factory will take place during the heart of the festival, from Aug. 10-12.

In 2007, Open Doors focused on film projects from the Middle East.
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