Open Doors is an exclusive segment arranged by Locarno Festival where special spotlight is shed upon specially selected countries in the South and the East. Starting from 2016 and until 2018, Open Doors has provided opportunities to young filmmakers of eight South Asian countries (Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Maldives) into developing their skills and finding international funding from potential collaboration.
Open Doors consist of three important segments; Hub, Lab and Screenings, of which Hub and Lab awards winners in respective categories.
Open Doors Hub
Open Doors Hub provides a discussion platform for directors from the eight countries to introduce their film projects and receive opportunities to be funded by any interested future partners.
This year, the Open Doors Hub program went on for 6 days, from 2nd August to 8th August. Among the projects that were presented there, the Open Doors Jury awarded the ones they deemed the most worthy with funding and support for future endeavors.
The Open Doors Grant, a total worth of 50,000 Swiss francs, is an award financed together by Open Doors, the City of Bellinzona and Visions Sud Est, a film production fund from Switzerland. Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has also provided support for this award. This year, the Open Doors Grant was awarded to two films; Badeszenen by Dawood Hilmandi from Afghanistan and One Summer Day by We Ra Aung from Myanmar, winning 35,000 and 15,000 Swiss francs respectively.
Outside the Open Doors Grant, two other awards are also given to films in Open Doors Hub. One Summer Day, which has also won the Open Doors Grant, was awarded the CNC Grant worth 8,000 Euros. The Prix ARTE International Open Doors award, which is worth 6,000 Euros, was granted to none other than Bangladesh's very own Rubaiyat Hossain for her film Made in Bangladesh.
Open Doors Lab
Open Doors Lab is a specially arranged workshop which aims to teach and develop budding producers. This year, producers from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka joined in this five-day workshop session. Last year, Aadnan Imtiaz Ahmed, Abu Shahed Emon and Rubaiyat Hossain from Bangladesh were included in Open Doors Lab as well.
This year, representatives from TorinoFilmLab and Initiative Film have given two awards and one special mention to films from the three participating countries. The Initiative Film Grant, which provides opportunities of a development package, was given to Rasitha Jinasena from Sri Lanka for his project Mahamaya. The TFL (TorinoFilmLab) Award, which includes an invitation to the TorinoFilmLab Meeting Event in Turin, was given to Jami Mahmood from Pakistan. The TorinoFilmLab Meeting Event is known as the perfect place to meet commercial negotiators and get introduced to renowned film professionals in Europe. The special mention in this year's Open Doors Lab went to Jawed Taiman from Afghanistan for his project The Last Night.
After Hub and Lab, another opportunity that exists for applicants in the Open Doors program is a two-month residency granted by the Winterthur International Short Film Festival at the Villa Sträuli. This residency opportunity, known as the “Residency Internationale” was given to Pradeepan Raveendran from Sri Lanka, with special mention given to Rati Tsiteladze from Georgia.