Press Releases

Open Doors: selected projects and first guests

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12 projects from francophone Sub-Saharan Africa have been selected for Open Doors, the Festival del film Locarno’s co-production lab. Several leading figures in African cinema have already confirmed their attendance at the next edition of the Festival.

These are the 12 projects selected from 213 applications from 17 different countries:

  • Ailleurs (Away) by Leslie Tô (Burkina Faso)
  • Black Sunshine by Akosua Adoma Owusu (Senegal/Ghana)
  • De la rue à l'école (From Street to School) by Pape Tall (Senegal)
  • Faso Fani, la fin du rêve (Faso Fani, the End of the Dream) by Michel K. Zongo (Burkina Faso)
  • Fragments de vies (Pieces of Lives) by Laza (Madagascar)
  • Il Faut Quitter Bamako (We've Got to Leave Bamako) by Aïssa Maïga (Mali)
  • La prochaine fois, le Feu (Fire Next Time) by Mati Diop (Senegal)
  • Le Président (The President) by Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Cameroon)
  • Lombraz Kan (Shadows of the Sugarcane) by David Constantin (Mauritius)
  • Nyè (The Eye) by Daouda Coulibaly (Mali)
  • Pakitalaki, portrait d’une famille (Pakitalaki, Portrait of a Family) by Adama Sallé (Burkina Faso)
  • Toutes voiles dehors (Secret Faces) by Jean-Marie Teno (Cameroon).

Martina Malacrida, who runs the Open Doors section, comments that she is «especially happy with the quality and variety of the projects submitted» and adds that she is « delighted with the number of guests who already confirmed their attendance at Open Doors ».

The filmmakers coming will include Idrissa Ouédraogo from Burkino Faso, who was in Locarno to introduce his film Yaaba on the Piazza Grande in 1989, and Gaston Kaboré, winner of the César for Best Francophone Film in 1983 for Wend Kuuni. Two other directors, the Malian Cheick Oumar Sissoko and the Mauritanian Abderrahmane Sissako, who made, respectively, Guimba (selected for Locarno in 1995) and Bamako (selected for Cannes in 2006), will participate in Open Doors.

The finalist directors and producers will participate in the Festival del film Locarno, where they will be put in contact with possible partners who could help find support to complete their projects. At the close of a three-day training seminar, an award worth 50,000 CHF (approx 40,000 euro), funded by the Open Doors initiative in collaboration with the town of Bellinzona, will go to one of the projects. A second award of 7,000 euro will be offered by the CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée) and ARTE will award the International Relations ARTE Prize, worth 6,000 euro.

With support from the Swiss Foreign Ministry’s Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Open Doors section, focusing on a different region every year, aims primarily to assist directors and producers from countries in the South and the East, where independent filmmaking is vulnerable.

This initiative is organised in close collaboration with the Festival Industry Office and enjoys support from the following partners: ACE (Ateliers du cinéma européen), EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs), EPC (European Producers Club) and Producers Network Marché du Film (Festival de Cannes). Alex Moussa Sawadogo, African cinema expert and director of the Afrikamera festival in Berlin, will work with the Festival on the Open Doors 2012 program.

The Open Doors co-production lab will be held 4 - 7 August as part of the 65th edition of the Festival del film Locarno, 1 - 11 August 2012.

The project submissions can be consulted on the website


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