The 12th edition of Locarno’s Open Doors co-production forum to focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Open Doors co-production lab will take run from August 9-12 as part of the 67th Locarno Film Festival (Aug 6-16, 2014).

According to the festival: “Open Doors aims to support and highlight films and filmmakers from the South and the East, where independent filmmaking is vulnerable, via a focus on a different region every year.”

The next edition will explore Sub-Saharan Africa, following the spotlight on Francophone African countries in 2012.

It will cover the following nations, which did not participate in 2012: Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Southern Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Festival will select a dozen projects from the region to participate in Open Doors in a bid to bring the finalist projects’ directors and producers together with potential partners, to encourage support for these projects to come to fruition.

Open Doors will continue the new initiative introduced in 2013, whereby, in addition to enabling the selected directors and producers to meet possible partners, there are also workshops for professionals on related film industry issues, with individual meetings and panels on training and marketing.

The four-day event will conclude with awards including the Open Doors Grant, worth €40,000, and two prizes offered by the CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée) and by ARTE.

In addition to these initiatives for professionals, the section also offers the general Festival audience the Open Doors Screenings, which present a selection of films that are representative of production in the countries involved.

The 2014 edition of Open Doors is the first to be managed by Ananda Scepka, who succeeds Martina Malacrida. Scepka has been working with the festival since 2009.

For this edition, the festival is working with Alex Moussa Sawadogo, an expert in African cinema and director of the Afrikamera Festival in Berlin.

Applications are now open via for projects originating from any of the 25 countries listed above.