Locarno Film Festival Open Doors Lineup focuses on cinema from the Caribbean and Latin America

Locarno Film Festival Open Doors Lineup focuses on cinema from the Caribbean and Latin America

For the second consecutive year, the Locarno Film Festival is dedicating its Open Doors programme, a co-production platform focused on the cinema of underrepresented countries, to films from Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Open Doors 2023 project hub lineup, unveiled Wednesday, includes eight in-development features from across the Americas.

Among the highlights are Milky Waythe latest feature film by Costa Rican director Paz Fábrega, whose Cold sea water won the Tiger Award for Best Film at the Rotterdam Film Festival 2010; the animated hybrid ghost by Nicaraguan director in exile Gloria Carrion, whose short film Leaves of k. screened in Open Doors last year; Jamaican drama Raised by goatsby director Gibrey Allen (Right near the beach); animated horror LOA. Kill your masters by first-time director Carlos Zerpa from Venezuela, winner of the online script consultancy award of Open Doors 2022 in Locarno last year, during last year’s session; AND The last of the kingsa western about vampires by Peruvian director Victor Checa, whose first feature film The shape of things to come screened at Tallinn Black Nights festival in 2021.

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Also in this year’s lineup are Bolivian dramas Desire by director Leandro Grillo, by Génesis Valenzuela Three bullets from the Dominican Republic, e Libertinesa drama by Salvadoran director Leslie Ortiz.

All will compete for the Open Doors Grant, which features a $55,000 (CHF 50,000) cash grant, as well as numerous other prizes, including the French CNC’s $8,500 (€8,000) prize, Arte Kino International Prize of Arte France, with its $6,400 (€6,000) scholarships and in-kind prizes — offered by Sørfond Film Fund, BrLab, LEXIA Insights, World Cinema Fund, Organization Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), IFFR Pro, Moulin d’ Andé – CECI and Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur – all designed to help young filmmakers complete their latest projects.

The Open Doors sessions will also include the Producers’ Lab in Locarno, a series of workshops and debates aimed at strengthening collaborations between the regions’ producers and addressing important issues in the sector. Participants in this year’s workshop will include Guatemalan producer Joaquín Ruano, executive producer of César Díaz’s 2019 Cannes Golden Camera-winning film Our mothers; Ana Isabel Martins Palacios from Honduras, producer of Mario Ramos’ The Countess (2020); and two participants in the Open Doors 2022 short films: Haitian producer Samuel Suffren and Daniela Muñoz from Cuba.

This year, Locarno is also launching a third talent development programme: The Directors’ Club, which will invite filmmakers to screen their latest short and feature films as part of the Open Door event and participate in a series of conferences, workshops and networking opportunities. Participants and their films will be announced together with the official selection of the Locarno Film Festival on 5 July.

The 21st Open Doors event will take place online in July and on site during the Locarno Pro Days, the industry section of the festival, from 3 to 9 August. The Locarno Film Festival 2023 will take place from 2 to 12 August.