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Starting this year until 2021, Open Doors will focus on a new group of eight countries from South-East Asia: Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Mongolia. Like in the past, the mission of this section is to facilitate the connection of creative voices to international professionals, to stimulate partnership and creative collaborations that support and enrich their works. Head of Open Doors and Deputy Head of Locarno Pro, Sophie Bourdon, is very clear about what to achieve within these three years: «We are trying to have an impact on these film industries. It’s not only about what we do here in Locarno. We want to endorse the independent cinema in order to grow stronger. Any of these countries has its mainstream cinema, the filmmakers and producers we share ideas with want to develop their own voice outside the box, focus on being a better witness about what’s going on in their countries.»
A key role in order to get this result is the producer: «Through the sharing of information and ideas, Opens Doors is supporting new creative producers. Most of the time, in these areas, filmmakers are also producers and screenwriters. The producer, intended as we see it, almost doesn’t exist, with only a couple of exceptions. We aid the collaboration with directors in an artistic way, being aware of the business at the same time: looking for partners, finding ways for these movies to be shown, not only abroad but also in the country or in the region.» Sophie Bourdon has clearly understood, developing Open Doors’ idea, that most of the time matching the director’s vision with the necessity of business isn’t always easy: «A producer is someone who understands the importance of developing a project. Mostly in these countries we only have investors who want the movie done in, let’s say, six months, no matter what. Together with Open Doors participants we are talking about a professional role that endorses a filmmaker’s vision, and develops it in the best possible way. The money should be at the service of the artistic process, not the other way around. My hope is that after leaving Locarno, these people will have not only the information but also the tools, and understand the obstacles better and better. Another fundamental aspect is creating a network of people that are on the same page, people who understand each other.»
Open Doors 2019 has also selected several movies and short films to be shown at the Locarno Film Festival: «The audience will love the diversity of visions, everyone of them celebrating the humanity and the will to unify people instead of dividing them.»