Latin American Films Win Locarno’s Open Doors Honors

Film projects from Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia are among the winners of this year’s Open Doors Awards at the Locarno International Film Festival. Open Doors, which celebrates its 20th anniversary at the Swiss festival this year, supports projects from regions with less-developed film industries with the aim of promoting greater diversity on the international scene.

For its anniversary edition, Open Doors launched a three-year focus, from 2022 to 2024, dedicated to Latin America and the Caribbean, and hosted several projects from the regions — fiction, documentaries and animated films — in its selection this year.

MOA, a feature project from Cuban director Marcel Beltrán won the top prize, which is an Open Doors grant of $36,500 (CHF 35,000) to go towards development and production. MOA is being produced by Paula Gastaud of Cuba’s Mediocielo Films. The project also won the ARTE Kino International prize, awarded by the French-German public broadcaster, which comes with a $6100 (€6000) cash bursary.

Kids Swimming in the Lake from director Michael Labarca, which Patricia Ramírez Arévalo is producing for Venezuelan shingle Todos Los Ríos, took the runner-up Open Doors grand of $15,700 (CHF 15,000), while Diamond, a project from director Yashira Jordán and producer Alvaro Olmos Torrico of Bolivia’s EmpatiaCinema, won a development grant from French cinema body CNC worth $8,150 (€8,000) in production services. Diamond was also picked to participate in the Pitching from the South platform set up by Norwegian film fund Sørfond.

The Peruvian project Illari Orcottoma from production company Maldeojos was selected to take part in the Rotterdam film festival’s 2023 IFFR Pro training workshop, while Paraguayan filmmaker Miguel Agüero will get an all-expenses paid trip to the BR Lab project development program, Brazil’s foremost film training-forum platform for national and Latin American titles in November 2022 for his in-development feature Kokue.

The 2022 Locarno International Film Festival runs through Aug. 13.

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