Press Releases  ·  16 | 07 | 2020

Line-up for Open Doors films screening online and in theaters is announced

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Open Doors, the Locarno Film Festival section that each year explores the cinemas of countries in the Global South and East, fostering the development of a collaborative, independent local film scene, is pleased to announce its program of screenings for audiences at Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films. Even in this exceptional year, Open Doors will hold true to its core mission with Open Doors Screenings which will take place online, plus a new, ad hoc retrospective section called Through the Open Doors that will be screened in theaters. This will be as well as organizing activities for industry professionals in the Open Doors Hub and Lab itself, which will be held online from 6 through 11 August.

In 2020 the Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors initiative for global filmmaking is confirmed, its scope broadened, with a rich and varied program of short and full-length features, new items and works from the past. These will be shown free online or with paid admission in theaters in Locarno and Muralto, in the classic Open Doors Screenings, now joined by a special ad hoc section named Through the Open Doors, which looks back over the initiative’s eighteen-year history.


Open Doors Screenings
For this edition Open Doors Screenings will be concentrating on the cinemas of Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Myanmar, as part of the three-year cycle (2019-2021) focused on South-East Asia 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 Pardo d'oro 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 (10 full-length and 10 short films) 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
One of the brand-new items at Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films is a first ever look back over the discoveries made by Open Doors in its eighteen years of film exploration. Through the Open Doors includes ten full-length features that in the past were either presented to audiences at the Locarno Film Festival or were projects completed after being selected for one of Open Doors’ industry programs. The special season of films takes us on a journey across continents, through various regions in Africa and Asia via Latin America and the Caucasus. The ultimate goal of this exciting anthology is to recapture the burgeoning talent of the filmmakers involved, as well as the commitment of the producers who encouraged and supported them.

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 Pardo d’oro 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 Locarno Film Festival 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/Netherlands – 2015
Keep Smiling (Gaigimet), by Rusudan Chkonia – Georgia/France/Luxembourg – 2012
On the Edge (Sur la planche), by Leila Kilani – Morocco/France/Germany – 2011
Winter Vacation (Han Jia), by Li Hongqi – China – 2010
Teza, by Haile Gerima – Ethiopia – 2008
Madeinusa, by Claudia Llosa – Peru – 2006
I am the One Who Brings Flowers to Her Grave (Ana alati tahmol azouhour ila qabriha), by Hala Alabdalla – Syria/France – 2006
Kairat, by Darezhan Omirbaev – Kazakhstan – 1992
Yeelen (Brightness), by Souleymane Cissé – Mali – 1987


The prizes
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:

  • Prize for best short film (CHF 1,500)
  • Environmental prize Environment is quality of life for best full-length film (CHF 2,000)

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


Open Doors Screenings and Through the Open Doors Presskit
Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films: Facts & Figures