For its next edition, the Locarno Festival’s co-production lab Open Doors will focus on India. The announcement was made on November 24 by Festival’s Artistic Director Olivier Père, and Nadia Dresti, Head of Locarno’s Industry Office, at a press conference during the 41st edition of the International Film Festival of India in Goa.

«Everybody knows that India outpaces the world in film production, releasing around 1,300 films every year, comments Olivier Père. But these figures can be misleading. The strength of commercial production, concentrated in the four main linguistic regions, should not make us lose sight of the many talented filmmakers across the country who are finding it very hard to express themselves through independent circuits. The next edition of Open Doors will give voice to those artists.»

Open Doors 2011 is the result of a two-year collaboration with the Film Bazaar India/Goa Festival’s Screenwriters’ Lab, instigated with support from Nina Lath Gupta, managing director of the Indian national film promotion office (NFDC). During the last two editions of the Locarno Festival, a total of 12 Indian screenwriters have participated, and been able to present their work-in-progress to a range of film professionals from all over the world, all under the aegis of the Binger Filmlab.

«We are eager to see the outcome of this collaboration, says Martina Malacrida, Head of the Open Doors section. Thanks to this initiative, we are confident we will be able to present the best of what is happening in young Indian auteur cinema at Open Doors. »

Three Indian experts will work with the Festival on the Open Doors 2011 program: Sunil Doshi, Meenakshi Shedde and Uma Da Cunha (consultant).

The Open Doors section enjoys the support of the Swiss Foreign Ministry’s Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Its main objective is to assist the directors and producers of the selected projects to find co-production partners, particularly in Europe, and to complete their films. The final short-listed applicants (a dozen in all) will be invited to participate in the co-production lab to take place during the 64th edition of the Festival del film Locarno (3-13 August 2011).

Indian projects can be submitted to Open Doors 2011 via the Festival website: www.pardo.ch.