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If there is a strand of the Locarno Film Festival that widens the horizon of cinema, it's Open Doors. And so it shall be during Locarno 2020, on August 5-15, when the films that have been discovered and showcased by those who look to the East will live in Locarno's cinemas and online all over the world. A total of 30 films, 20 from the 2020 Open Doors Screenings line-up and 10 as part of the special section Through the Open Doors, which will revisit the 18-year lifespan of the Locarno Pro project.
Open Doors Screenings
Alongside the professional initiatives of Open Doors Hub and Lab, which will take place online on August 6-11, Open Doors will also be Screenings, like every year. It's a line-up of ten feature films and ten shorts, coming from Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar (the countries in focus for the 2019-2021 period), and Mongolia.
Head of Open Doors Sophie Bourdon says: “This program showcases the region’s impressive inter-generational dynamism, presenting on the one hand the work of young talents, especially in the field of the short film in a variety of forms, and on the other a range of full-length features awaiting rediscovery, made by directors who over the years have established themselves on the international circuit.”
Paolo Bertolin, curator of the Open Doors Screenings, explains the thinking behind this year’s selection: “We picked out a number of full-length features that have had a very positive response on the festival circuit, but which have been hard to see because of a lack of distribution outside their original territories. A case in point is provided by two women directors whose new projects have been picked for the Open Doors Hub, Mouly Surya from Indonesia and Isabel Sandoval from the Philippines: we’re showing their second films, What They Don't Talk About When They Talk About Love and Apparition. Two comedy features also stand out: from Malaysia, the satirical musical Sell Out! by Yeo Joon Han and, from the Philippines, Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay by Antoinette Jadaone, a mockumentary that pays tribute to the character actors of popular cinema there. The selection is fittingly capped off by two retrospective tributes marking the centenary of the cinema in their respective countries: on the one hand the recently restored Burmese classic Tender Are the Feet by Maung Wunna; and on the other the first full-length film by Filipino master Brillante Mendoza, The Masseur, which exactly 15 years ago won the Golden Leopard in the Video Competition. That striking debut in Locarno ushered in a bold new wave of digital cinema from the Philippines and the whole of South-East Asia.”
The 20 titles in the Open Doors Screenings will be available for viewing worldwide, exclusively online, during the Festival from 5 through 15 August, on the website of the Locarno Film Festival (up to 1,500 free views). The screenings will be accompanied by conversations between each film’s director and the Open Doors programmers.
The complete list of full-length films selected is as follows:
Apparition (Aparisyon), by Isabel Sandoval –Philippines / USA – 2012
Atambua 39°Celsius, by Riri Riza – Indonesia – 2012
Clash (Engkwentro), by Pepe Diokno –Philippines– 2009
Memories of My Body( Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku), by Garin Nugroho – Indonesia – 2018
Sell Out!, by Yeo Joon Han – Malaysia – 2008
Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay, by Antoinette Jadaone –Philippines – 2011
Songlap, by Effendee Mazlan and Fariza Azlina Isahak – Malaysia – 2011
Tender Are the Feet, by Maung Wunna – Myanmar – 1973
The Masseur (Masahista), by Brillante Mendoza – Philippines – 2005
What They Don't Talk About When They Talk About Love, by Mouly Surya – Indonesia – 2013
The line-up of short films is:
A Gift (Kado), by Aditya Ahmad – Indonesia – 2018
Babylon, by Keith Deligero – Philippines – 2017
High Way, by Chia Chee Sum – Malaysia – 2018
Liar Land, by Ananth Subramaniam – Malaysia – 2019
Listen, by Min Min Hein – Myanmar / USA / Japan – 2017
Man of Pa-Aling Manong ng Pa-Aling) , by E del Mundo – Philippines / USA – 2017
No One is Crazy in This Town (Tak Ada yang Gila di Kota Ini), by Wregas Bhanuteja – Indonesia – 2019
On Friday Noon, by Luhki Herwanayogi – Indonesia – 2016
The Ruby, by Ling Low – Malaysia – 2019
Void, by Mg Bhone – Myanmar – 2018
Through the Open Doors
And that's not all. Locarno 2020 will also be a journey looking back on 18 years of Open Doors discoveries. Through the Open Doors will allow the audience to (re)discover ten films from past editions of the project. It's a journey across continents, filmmaking trends and auteurs, from Africa to Asia, via Latin America and the Caucasus, in the shape of a stirring anthology of filmmaking talent and producers' commitment and support.
The selected titles include the Swiss premiere of Made in Bangladesh by Rubaiyat Hossain, a project presented on the Open Doors co-production platform in 2017 during the previous 3-year focus on Southern Asia, along with another Open Doors project which, on completion, went on to win the Golden Leopard at the Festival itself: Winter Vacation by China’s Li Hongqi. Other stand-out titles with a past presence at Locarno are those by two masters of African cinema, Yeleen by Mali’s Souleymane Cissé and Teza by Ethiopian Haile Gerima, respectively award-winners at Cannes and Venice, but also the Kazakh feature Kairat by Darezhan Omirbaev, which in 1992 launched a new wave of Central Asian cinema from Locarno, where it won the Silver Leopard.
The 10 films in Through the Open Doors will be shown exclusively in theaters in Locarno and Muralto. Full details on prices of admission and season tickets will be announced on our website.
The ten films selected are:
Made in Bangladesh, by Rubaiyat Hossain France / Bangladesh / Denmark / Portugal – 2019 (Swiss Premiere, Opening Film at FIFDH – International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights, Geneva)
Necktie Youth, by Sibs Shongwe-La Mer - South Africa / Nederland – 2015
Keep Smiling (Gaigimet), by Rusudan Chkonia – Georgia / France / Luxemburg – 2012
On the Edge (Sur la planche), by Leila Kilani – Maroc / France / Germany – 2011
Winter Vacation (Han Jia), by Li Hongqi – China – 2010
Teza, by Haile Gerima – Ethiopia – 2008
Madeinusa, by Claudia Llosa – Perù – 2006
I am the One Who Brings Flowers to Her Grave (Ana alati tahmol azouhour ila qabriha), by Hala Alabdalla – Siria – 2006
Kairat, by Darezhan Omirbaev – Kazakhstan – 1992
Yeelen (Brightness), by Souleymane Cissé – Mali – 1987
For the first time in the section’s history, titles in the Open Doors Screenings will be eligible to receive two prizes awarded by the jury of the Festival’s youth initiative Cinema&Gioventù:
Open Doors is made possible by the collaboration of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), which joins with the Locarno Film Festival in supporting filmmakers from the Global South and East involved in the event’s various programs. The selection of films presented by Open Doors has been curated by Paolo Bertolin and Delphine Jeanneret of the Open Doors team, together with Artistic Director Lili Hinstin.
To learn more about obtaining tickets and the conditions for safe viewing of physical screenings, visit the website