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Locarno focus on Southeast Asia "Open Doors"

11 projects from Southeast Asia invited to Locarno

“Open Doors underscores in a practical way one of the Festival’s vocational objectives – to bring together film cultures and traditions that are different or distant from each other,” notes Frédéric Maire, Locarno’s new artistic director, “and, with effect from this year, the section is to enjoy a higher profile within the Festival”.

The Open Doors workshop, thanks to the support of the Swiss Foreign Ministry’s Agency for Development and Cooperation, continues its ongoing commitment to raising the visibility of film projects from developing nations (in film terms), by creating networking opportunities for producers and directors to meet potential partners from other regions who may be able to assist in getting projects off the ground.
“Drive and dynamism are the keynotes for the Open Doors section. We are proud and delighted to make a positive contribution in favor of countries from Southeast Asia and of cultural exchange,” said Harry Sivec, head of the Media and communications division at the Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Southeast Asia is the chosen focus for this year’s Open Doors. 11 projects have been chosen from the 50 entered from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. During this fourth Open Doors workshop they will be presented to potential producers and co-producers from around the world and from Europe in particular, in partnership with producers’ associations EAVE and ACE.
All the producers and directors of the projects selected will be attending Open Doors, organized from 4 to 11 August 2006 during the Locarno Film Festival.

Open Doors is to do more than just provide a networking platform for presenting projects, however. For the first time, thanks to further funding from the Agency for Development and Cooperation, at the close of the workshop two grants towards development and production, each worth 50,000 Swiss francs, will be awarded. The decision as to which projects will receive the awards will be made by the Festival in concert with the Swiss support fund Visions Sud Est.
A further contribution of 10,000 Euros will also be assigned to a project in the development phase, thanks to the participation in Open Doors of the French national cinema center CNC (Centre National de la Cinématographie).

The Southeast Asian nations have already produced talents of the caliber of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Garin Nugroho and Eric Khoo, and doubtless will continue in the future to offer a broad and impressive range of artistic expression and technical expertise, as witnessed by the 11 projects selected for Open Doors.

“Filmmaking in that part of the world is in ferment,” commented Open Doors project manager Vincenzo Bugno. “We picked projects by names both well-known and less familiar to people in the industry, and to western audiences in general. What all the projects had in common was the desire to render in depth the reality of the countries in which the directors live. We are definitely very pleased with the resonance our initiative has achieved in Southeast Asia”.

Open Doors is not reserved exclusively for industry personnel: the Open Doors Screenings, a series of 15 recent films from Southeast Asia, will allow the whole festival public to gain an idea of this rich film heritage, all too often neglected by the regular theatrical circuit.

The program will be announced during the press conferences on 12/13 July and published on-line ( from 5 pm on Wednesday 12 July.

Open Doors 2006 / Projects selected


3 days to forever - RIRI RIZA- Miles Films
Jermal- RAVI BAHRWANI - Salto Films
The Photograph - NAN ACHNAS -Triximages


The dog man chronicle - JAMES LEE - Doghause 73 Pictures
Jakun -SAW TEONG HIN - Real Films
Living quietly - TAN CHI MUI - Da Huang Pictures


132 - ROYSTON TAN - Zhao Wei Films
Maid to order - DJINN - Vacantfilms

Tailandia / Singapore

Pleasure Factory - EKACHAI UEKRONGTHAM - Spice Apple Films
Armful - WISIT SASANATIENG - One Ton Cinema


The Island Funeral - PIMPAKA TOWIRA - Soapbox

Open Doors / advance notice

Following the 2006 program featuring four countries from Southeast Asia, Open Doors will be turning its attention in 2007 to the near and Middle East (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories) and in 2008 to English- and Portuguese-speaking southern Africa (selecting projects from South Africa, Angola and Mozambique, for instance).


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