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Discover the films made by producers and directors whose careers blossomed thanks to Open Doors.
There are talents who just need the right contact or connection to take flight.
That’s why in these years Open Doors services and networking activities gave this opportunity to many young filmmakers and producers, allowing them to develop, finish or distribute their projects.
Among the Open Doors completed movies, we find some of the most important titles of contemporary cinematic landscape, as Atlantics: A Ghost Love Story by Mati Diop – the first black woman to direct a film in competition at Cannes –, and the Pardo d’oro Winter Vacation by Li Hongqi.
Mati Diop attended Open Doors in 2012 with her debut feature project, first called La prochaine fois, le feu. The film premiered then in Cannes' main competition in 2019 with the title Atlantics and won the Jury's Grand Prix.
The path of Li Hongqi was even quicker: he participated in Open Doors with Winter Vacation in 2009: one year later the film was presented in the Concorso internazionale and won the first prize of Locarno Film Festival.
Director Emir Baigazin presented Uroki Garmonii (Harmony Lessons) during the 2010 edition of Open Doors dedicated to Central Asia. In 2013 the film premiered at the Berlinale and won the Silver Bear for an Outstanding Artistic Contribution.
I Am Not a Witch was introduced by director Rungano Nyoni to Open Doors in 2014. The project won the Open Doors grant and in 2017 was premiered at La Quinzaine des réalisateurs in Cannes. In 2018 it won the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut and was chosen to represent Great Britain at the Oscars.
Director Rubaiyat Hossaina attended the Open Doors Lab in 2016, and the following year presented her third feature film project at the Open Doors Hub, winning the Arte International Prize. Made in Bangladesh then premiered at TIFF 2019, followed by BFI and more festivals.
Despite the difficulties triggered by the effects of the pandemic, many filmmakers managed to complete their projects and achieve international success, setting the stage for a bright future for independent cinema.
Among them we can mention some of the films that have been most successful on festival circuits in recent years:
One among them is definitely Day After..., presented at Open Doors in 2016 by director Kamar Ahmad Simon and winner of the Arte International Prix. It had its premiere at IDFA in 2021 and was selected at the Festival of Three Continents in Nantes, as well as other festivals around the world.
Makbul Mubarak was part of the Open Doors Hub selection in 2019 with his project Autobiography. Three years later, in 2022, the movie had its premiere in Venice winning the FIPRESCI Award, as well as being selected for the Toronto International Film Festival and Bfi London in the same year.
The 2019 group of talents proved to be a widely succesfull one. Besides Autobiography, many other projects were completed and premiered at prestigious festivals: both Tiger Stripes directed by malaysian Amanda Nell Eu, and If Only I Could Hibernate got selected at Cannes Film Festival.
The former was part of the Semaine de la Critique selection in 2023 and managed to snag the Grand Prize. Following this success the film also secured a deal for swiss distribution with Trigon-film.
The latter, part of Un Certain Regard selection, will be released in Swiss cinemas in December 2023.
The quality of the projects coming from Southeast Asia proved to be as good and interesting in the second year spent by Open Doors in the region.
Vietnamese director Thien An Pham, who got selected at the Projects' Hub in 2020 completed his first feature film, Inside the Yelllow Cocoon Shell, and went on to win the Caméra d'Or Prize of the Directors' Fortnight Section at the 76th Cannes Film Festival.
Mongolia as well, proved to be an emerging cinematography rich in talent and ideas. Living proof is Open Doors alumna (Lab 2019) Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir, who completed her first feature film Sèr Sèr Salhi (City of the Wind) in 2023 and premiered it at Venice Orizzonti in the same year and went on with his great festival run in Toronto and Busan.
The service is accessible all year round and is available by writing to the Open Doors team to ask questions and receive feedback on specific aspects regarding current projects, the career as a film professional, and to be aided through the different steps of the filmmaking process.