Last August, the Open Doors 2020 edition of the Locarno Film Festival underlined the exceptional narrative and creative richness of Mongolian and South-East Asian cinema as well as the urgent need for filmmakers from this region to share their visions of their contemporary societies. And this initiative will continue as the Switzerland-based film festival is once again encouraging all aspiring filmmakers and producers from South East Asia and Mongolia to participate in the upcoming Open Doors 2021.
Open Doors is the Locarno Pro initiative that, for eighteen years, has aimed to foster independent cinema and showcase and assist directors and producers from countries in the Global South and East.
In collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Open Doors 2021 edition will serve as the closing cycle of the film festival’s three-year focus on cinematographic landscapes of the following countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Mongolia.
The Open Doors section is comprised of two professional activities, the Open Doors Hub and Open Doors Lab, which annually take place during the Locarno Film Festival.
Every year, the Festival committee selects up to eight (8) feature-length projects from the countries in focus to take part in the Open Doors Hub and eight (8) promising producers or filmmakers-producers for the Open Doors Lab.
Participants in Open Doors Hub will have the chance to meet potential European and international partners in filmmaking while those in the Open Doors Lab will benefit from a tailor-made program, including group and individual sessions, which aims to help them getting international market opportunities and increasing their professional skills and profile.
The Locarno Open Doors 2020 was held online for the first time last August, where the Philippines was hailed as the festival’s Spotlight Country after a total of 13 Filipino films participated in the festival, marking another feat for the Philippine film industry.
Six Filipino films became part of the Locarno Open Doors Screening lineup. These include Brillante Mendoza’s Masahista, Antoinette Jadaone’s Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay, Isabel Sandoval’s Aparisyon, and Pepe Diokno’s Engkwentro for the feature film category, and Keith Deligero’s Babylon and E. del Mundo’s Manong ng Pa-aling (Man of Pa-aling) for the short film category.
Meanwhile, Rafael Manuel’s Filipiñana was featured in Locarno Open Doors Lab while highly-acclaimed director and animator Avid Liongoren won the Open Doors Development Support grant worth 14,000 Swiss francs for Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah vs. The Amazonistas of Planet X. The animated film was included in the Locarno Open Doors Hub, together with Isabel Sandoval’s Tropical Gothic.
ENTRY CONDITIONS AND CRITERIA*
For Open Doors Hub Participants:
1. The director of the project submitted for the selection must be a citizen of or originally from one of the eligible 9 countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Mongolia.
2. We select feature-length projects with potential for international distribution. Only projects of at least 70 minutes are eligible for the main prize Open Doors Grant.
3. Projects participating in the selection (feature-length fictions, documentary and animation films) must be submitted at an advanced stage of development, in form of script or, if not possible, in form of treatment, and with a complete dossier and production plan (see paragraph 5. for details on the submission dossier), in order to be introduced to the international market in the best possible conditions.
4. The submission dossier must be presented in English. Good knowledge and practice of the English language for at least one of the attending project representatives is necessary to participate in the Open Doors Hub.
5. Projects that will be shot in any official or spoken language of the eligible countries are suitable for application to Open Doors 2021.
For Open Doors Lab Participants:
1. The applying producer must be a citizen or originally from one of the eligible 9 countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia.
2. The Open Doors Lab is open to emerging producers/filmmakers-producers who wish to start working internationally and producing independent film projects.
3. Producers/filmmakers-producers are requested to apply with a feature-length project in development (early stage is accepted), including a first draft of script or treatment, or a long synopsis. This project will provide the working basis for the participants during the Open Doors Lab. The applicant must also provide details on the line-up of projects of his/her production company. See paragraph 5.for the exhaustive list of requested documentation for submission.
4. The submission dossier must be presented in English. Knowledge of the English language is necessary to participate in the Open Doors Lab.
5. Projects that will be shot in any official or spoken language of the eligible countries are suitable for application to the Open Doors Lab 2021.
The submission of entries is free of charge. Interested applicants are allowed to participate in both Open Doors Hub and Open Doors Lab with one same project, as long as the required documents for both activities are provided.
Directors without producers and producers without directors are still eligible for submitting projects to Open Doors activities. Only a maximum of 2 different projects per applicant is allowed.
Applicants must follow these two mandatory steps for the submission of projects/entries.
1. Fill in the online entry form at http://opendoorsefo.pardo.ch/. The entry form will serve as an agreement of participation between the representative of the project and the LFF.
2. The following materials in English listed below must be collected in one single PDF file and uploaded following the instructions provided via email.
For the Open Doors Hub:
- Synopsis (max 2 pages)
- Full script or advanced treatment (min. 10 pages or 15.000 characters)
- Director’s Visual Concept (in form of a description)
- Cast, crew and technical details
- Rough cut, first edited version if parts of the film have been shot already
- CV/biography and filmography for the director and the producer(s) (max 2 pages). Please make sure that everyone writes clearly if they are citizens / originally from one of the eligible countries.
- Director’s Note in form of presentation letter
- Producer’s Intention and Motivation Note in form of a presentation letter (ex: why Open Doors Hub in particular? Co-production and distribution strategy?)
- Production company profile(s) and line up of projects in development (with list of filmmakers)
- Budget top sheet in Euros or USD (i.e. one-page estimated budget with main budget development/production/post-production lines)
- Foreseen financing plan (in Euros or USD) and financing strategy
- Foreseen schedule including development (various script versions, funding applications), production, post-production and distribution stages (which international and national festival premieres? Ideal domestic release date/period)
- If available, financing agreements and/or letters of intent from financing partners
- If available, co-production / cooperation agreement(s)
- Portrait photo of the director and the producer – JPG Format (300 dpi / 1’000 pixels X 1’000 pixels) 5
- At least 2 previous films by the director subtitled in English (shorts and features are both accepted).
- Accepted formats: previous films can be sent with any file sharing programs, by link if the film is uploaded on any website; if not possible, they can also be sent by regular post (DVD). In any case they must arrive in Locarno by the submission deadline, January 13th, 2021.
- Film links must be active until the end of the Locarno Film Festival, on August 14th , 2021.
For the Open Doors Lab:
- CV/biography and filmography of the producer/filmmaker- producer (please mention your role(s) on each film; also mention clearly if you are a citizen / originally from one of the eligible countries)
- Production company profile and line up of completed films and projects in development (shorts and features, fiction, documentary and animation, with mention of filmmakers’ names, years of production, festival participations as well as awards if applicable)
- Submit a project (at early stage of development is accepted) at least with a treatment if possible (or with a long synopsis, 3 to 5 pages, with explanations of the dramatic structure including the number of acts in the story, or/and of the character development)
- Any other available project elements should be attached to provide us with the clearest idea of the production, financial and creative aspects of the feature film project (you can take the list of the requested documents for the Open Doors Hub as reference)
- Motivation and Expectation Note of the producer/filmmaker producer (why Open Doors Lab in particular?)
- Portrait photo of the applicant – JPG Format (300 dpi / 1’000 pixels X 1’000 pixels)
- At least 2 previous films produced by the applicant subtitled in English (shorts and features are both accepted).
- Accepted formats: previous films can be sent with any file sharing programs, by link if the film is uploaded on any website; if not possible, they can also be sent by regular post (DVD). In any case, they must arrive in Locarno by the submission deadline, January 13th, 2021.
- Film links must be active until the end of the Locarno Film Festival, on August 14th, 2021. Projects lacking requested documentation might not be considered for selection.
All the required materials must be submitted online, following the instruction provided in the Entry Form.
If sent by post, the DVDs must be addressed to:
Locarno Film Festival
via Franchino Rusca 1
Applicants can only submit their applications until January 13th, 2021 at 23:59 Central European Time (UTC +1).
Accepted applicants (director and producer of each project) do not have to worry about expenses. The Locarno Film Festival will shoulder all the travel costs going to Locarno and the hotel arrangements and expenses (in Locarno), and will provide daily allowances to lunch and dinner.
*All the information (bullet and number lists) listed in these sections are acquired from Locarno Film Festival official site. You can access the LFF rules and regulations document here.
You can watch some local films on MOOV, Cinema Centenario’s video on-demand online channel.