The Locarno Film Festival has announced that next year’s Open Doors co-production lab will focus on India. The announcement was made by Locarno artistic director Olivier Pere and Nadia Dresti, head of the festivals’ industry office, on the second day of Film Bazaar in Goa.

Pere said Open Doors will select 12 projects from India to participate in the lab, whilst keeping in mind the linguistic diversity of the country. Three Indian experts will work with the festival on the selection – Sunil Doshi and Meenaskhi Shedde as scouts and Uma Da Cunha as a curator and consultant.

Open Doors 2011 follows a two-year collaboration between the festival and the Screenwriters’ Lab section of Film Bazaar, organised by India’s National Film Development Corp (NFDC) and Amsterdam-based Binger Filmlab. During the last two years, a total of 12 Indian writers have worked on their scripts at Screenwriters’ Lab, first during the Locarno fest in August and then at Film Bazaar in Goa in November.

“Everybody knows that India outpaces the world in film production, releasing around 1,300 films every year – but these figures can be misleading,” said Pere. “The strength of commercial production, concentrated on the four main linguistic regions, should not make us lose sight of the many talented filmmakers across the county who are finding it very hard to express themselves through independent circuits. The next edition of Open Doors will give voice to those artists.”

Pere and Dresti said that the festival would also be looking for Indian films for its competition line-up and other sections, and would also select seven or eight films in post-production to screen for world sales agents.

Open Doors is supported by the Swiss Foreign Ministry’s Agency for Development and Cooperation and has previously focused on South-East Asia, China and Central Asia.

Locarno will take place August 3-13 in 2011.