Press Releases  ·  06 | 06 | 2024

Locarno Open Doors Announces Projects and Producers Selection 2024

Talent development program enters final year with focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, launches new award in partnership with Tabakalera CICC and the San Sebastian Film Festival.

©Locarno Film Festival/Ti-Press

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Open Doors, Locarno’s co-production platform and talent development program for filmmakers from underrepresented communities and countries in which cinema and arts as a form of expression are at risk, is entering its 22nd edition, marking the third and final year with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. Through its Projects Hub, Producers Lab and Directors Club, Open Doors offers an extensive training, learning, and networking program, as well as public screenings and events – during the Locarno Film Festival and throughout the year. The program will take place online in July and onsite during the Locarno Pro Days (August 8 to 13, 2024).

Participants Projects Hub & Producers Lab A total of eight projects in development have been selected to participate in the co-production platform, the Projects Hub. Among them are vampire story Fiebre caribe (Caribbean Fever) by Venezuelan Diego Andres Murillo; Ecuadorian queer science fiction film Ovnis en el Trópico (UFOs in the Tropic) by first-time director Roberth Mendoza; Peruvian genre-bending Huaco retrato (The Return Of The Last Mochica Warrior) by Fernando Luis Mendoza Salazar blending video games with film; and El único tiempo (The Unique Time) by Paz Encina (Paraguay), director of Eami, which nabbed the Tiger Award in 2022, and Hamaca paraguaya (2006), winner of the FIPRESCI Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Producers Lab, Open Doors’ career development program for creative producers, strongly focuses on strengthening collective working structures and creative collaborations within the regions. The eight participants from eight different countries this year include Wendy Desert from Haiti, who is one of the founding members of the all-female collective L’autre Regard Films Productions, supporting emerging Haitian talents across the film industry; Bolivian producer Camila Molina, who was one of the producers of Diego Mondaca's IFFR entry Chaco (2020); and Romola Lucas, the first ever producer from Guyana to attend the Lab.

Additionally, Open Doors will welcome junior producer Andrea Fatecha Bernal as an observer in this year's Producers Lab, whose participation is possible thanks to the collaboration with the Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV (EICTV) in Cuba.

An overview of all Projects Hub and Producers Lab participants can be found here.

Zsuzsi Bánkuti, Head of Open Doors, comments: “We are excited to see a significant number of first-time filmmakers whose innovative visions and bold experimentation with form promise to push the boundaries of storytelling. The diversity in perspectives among these projects and filmmakers is truly remarkable, offering fresh, unique viewpoints that challenge traditional narratives. We are proud to say that we made no compromises in our selection process, choosing individuals who possess the courage and creativity to redefine cinematic expression.


On August 13, a panel of professional jury members will grant financial and in-kind awards to selected winning projects. New this year is the Tabakalera-San Sebastian Film Festival Residency Award given in collaboration with the International Culture Center Tabakalera and San Sebastian Film Festival. Following the selection of Open Doors participant Carlos Ormeño Palma last year, the winner of the award will attend a residency in Tabakalera and take part in the industry activities of the San Sebastian Film Festival in September.

Clara Montero, Cultural Director of Tabakalera, comments: “We have been developing a holistic support system for creation for many years, through different calls and programs, to influence the entire value chain of project development and support artists in building a career in the audiovisual industry. The aim of this collaboration is to join forces and coordinate with Locarno Open Doors to support an international filmmaker in the next phase of project development, specifically the production phase, by hosting them within a creation residency at Tabakalera and the participation in the Festival's industry program.”

Further awards include the Open Doors Grant, sponsored by visions sud est and the City of Bellinzona, of CHF 50,000; the CNC Development Prize worth of EUR 8,000; and the Arte Kino International Prize of EUR 6,000. Additional in-kind prizes are offered by the Sørfond Film Fund, the BrLab, World Cinema Fund, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), IFFR Pro, Moulin d’Andé - CECI, and the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur.

Directors Club

The directors of the films selected for the Open Doors Screenings as part of the Festival’s official selection will gather in the Directors Club, giving them access to a range of talks, workshops and networking opportunities. The Open Doors Screenings will be announced together with the official selection of the Locarno Film Festival on 10 July 2024.


The Open Doors initiative was launched by the Locarno Film Festival in 2003, in subsequent collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). For more than 20 years, Open Doors’ mission has been to support artists from underrepresented communities around the world and from countries in which cinema and art as a form of expression are at risk. 

Offering a multi-faceted space for nurturing film talents, it has developed an array of programs for training, learning, and networking for film professionals, as well as public screenings and events – during the Locarno Film Festival and all year long.