One region, four countries, twenty-one films, and a world premiere. This is the Open Doors Screenings 2016, a platform for talent of contemporary cinema in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal.
For Open Doors to extend its purview to exciting developments in young national cinemas, such as those of southern Asia, is nothing new. But a world premiere at the Open Doors Screenings certainly is.
This is the case with Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait by Khyentse Norbu – this being his fourth feature film – which will be presented in Locarno as world premiere by the British executive-producer Jeremy Thomas (Oscar winner in 1988 for The Last Emperor) and the young Bhutanese producer Pawo Choyning Dorji.
Other filmmakers featured in the Open Doors Screenings include Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (a multi-award winning Bengali filmmaker), Midi Z and The Maw Naing (among the most inspiring, young voices from Myanmar, in Locarno with their first features Return to Burma and The Monk), Min Bahadur Bham from Nepal (a directorial debut, with Kalo Pothi – The Black Hen), Deepak Rauniyar (also from Nepal, a name already familiar at major international festivals) and other young talents from South Asia.
”Playing host to the masks and allure of Khyentse Norbu’s Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait, and having its world premiere on the big screen, in the presence of Jeremy Thomas and its Bhutanese producer and actors, gives me great pride. This and the other films selected this year enable us to introduce a delegation of filmmakers who are making an active contribution to the development of a local new generation, who, more than ever before, is turning to the international scene.” Sophie Bourdon, Head of Open Doors.
Supported since its inception by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Open Doors initiative aims to support and highlight filmmakers and films from the South and the East where independent cinema is vulnerable.
Open Doors will continue its journey through southern Asia until 2018.