Open Doors

Open Doors: Screenings 2017 – "Jeewan Hathi (Elephant in the Room)" by Meenu Gaur , Farjad Nabi


Open Doors


© Open Doors 2016: "I Am Time" directed by Mahde Hasan

Tariq Teguia’s “Gabbla” (“Inland”), presented in Open Doors 2015


Open Doors 2014: “Nelson Mandela: the Myth & Me” directed by Khalo Matabane (South Africa/Germany).


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The Open Doors section of the Locarno Festival focuses on regions in the South and the East.

In collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Swiss Foreign Ministry, Open Doors aims primarily at assisting directors and producers from countries in the South and the East, where independent filmmaking is vulnerable.

From 2016 until 2018 Open Doors focuses its look onto a single region, in order to increase and further enhance opportunities for collaboration and exchange for local professionals. The initiative focuses on 8 countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 

The program’s new formula covers three dimensions: the Open Doors Hub, Lab and Screenings.


Open Doors Hub

The Open Doors Hub brings professionals from the chosen region together with potential partners, mostly from Europe, to foster support for projects that would otherwise be difficult to complete.

Every year up to 8 new projects from the chosen region are selected, and their representatives are able to meet potential co-producers, sales agents and distributors and find funding for their films. At the end of the workshop, the winning projects receive either development or production support.

> Selected projects


Open Doors Lab

The Open Doors Lab offers a tailor-made program for a small group of producers and filmmakers-producers from some of the region’s countries. This 5-day Lab combines individual consultancy meetings, plenary sessions, group discussions and networking opportunities with industry guests, aiming to improve the participants' professional skills and understanding the international business practices and market specificities.

Discover the 8 selected producers here.


Open Doors Screenings

In order to introduce the Festival audience to the cinematographic and cultural landscape of the chosen region, a number of films are chosen each year to be part of the Open Doors Screenings, a non-competitive section of the Festival.

> 2018 program


Past editions

Since its inception 15 years ago, Open Doors has showcased projects from Cuba and Argentina, countries in the Mekong, the Maghreb, South-East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand), the Near and Middle East (Mashrek), Latin America, Greater China, central Asia, India, Sub-Saharan francophone Africa, the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) and the English- and Portuguese speaking countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

> Past Open Doors projects


Hub Awards

Open Doors Grant

50,000 CHF – Award financed by the Open Doors initiative in collaboration with the Municipality of Bellinzona and the Swiss production support fund Visions Sud Est, funded by the SDC.

CNC Prize

8,000 EUR – A contribution for development.

ARTE International Open Doors Prize

6,000 EUR – A contribution for development.

Lab Awards

Open Doors to development - Initiative Film Grant

The Open Doors to Development - Initiative Film Grant offers the possibility to benefit from a six-month online follow-up. This includes an analytic reading of the script as well as three Skype consultancy meetings. Also, the winning producer will be coached in the making of a presentation board, useful for approaching potential future partners.

Open Doors - TFL Award

The Torino Film Lab offers grant allowing one of the producers to take part in the TFL Meeting Event in Turin in November, so as to develop his or her contacts at international level and initiate commercial negotiations in respect of projects currently in development. 

Useful links

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