Always an early look at projects we’ll be writing even more about in the future, the Festival del film Locarno’s annual Co-production Lab Open Doors has dedicated this year to 4 countries from the Maghreb: Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. 12 projects will be brought to Locarno by their directors and producers to present them to potential international partners.
With the support of the Swiss Foreign Ministry’s Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Open Doors aims to support and highlight filmmakers from a region in the world’s South and East where independent cinema is “vulnerable.” Open Doors fosters the provision of funding for the selected projects, giving their representatives the opportunity to present them to international producers.
For the 13th edition, taking place August 8 – 11, the 12 selected projects are:
• – “Aller simple” by Nadia Raïs (Tunisia)
• – “Dieu reconnaîtra les siens” by Hassan Legzouli (Morocco)
• – “En attendant les hirondelles” by Karim Moussaoui (Algeria)
• – “Inhebek Hedi” by Mohamed Ben Attia (Tunisia)
• – “L’Amour des hommes” by Mehdi Ben Attia (Tunisia/France)
• – “Le Fort des fous” by Narimane Mari (Algeria)
• – “Le Sacrifié” by Amin Sidi-Boumédiène (Algeria)
• – “Pagan Magic” by Fyzal Boulifa (Morocco/France)
• – “Retina” by Nejib Belkadhi (Tunisia)
• – “Ruqya” by Yanis Koussim (Algeria/France)
• – “Saint” inconnu by Alaa Eddine Aljem (Morocco)
• – “The Colonel’s Stray Dogs” by Khalid Shamis (Libya/South Africa)
At the conclusion of the 4 days, several awards will be given. A prize, worth 50,000 CHF (~ $55,000), is funded by the Open Doors initiative in collaboration with the Town of Bellinzona and the Swiss production support fund Visions Sud Est, also supported by the SDC. The CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée) will give a prize of 10,000 Euros (~ $11,400) and ARTE will give an award worth 6,000 Euros (~ $6800). ICAM (Investing in Culture & Art in the South Mediterranean), a new initiative funded by the European Union (Programme Med Culture), will give for the first time a prize for development or postproduction.
As was the case last year, 3 producers of the selected projects will have the opportunity to participate in the Cannes Film Market’s Producers Network during the 2016 festival.
Workshops relating to current issues in independent film production and distribution will be organized for participants. In partnership with the TorinoFilmLab, some projects will also be offered a guidance mentorship for writing.
Open Doors has drawn on assistance from Alex Moussa Sawadogo, African cinema expert and director of the Afrikamera festival in Berlin.
The section also offers the Festival’s audience an opportunity to see a selection of films representative of the cinemas of the countries involved: the Open Doors Screenings program will be announced at a press conference on July 15, along with the Festival’s complete selection.