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Locarno 2021 - Locarno Pro

Country Focus: Switzerland

Locarno Pro’s Open Doors Hub and Lab hand out their awards


- The established Locarno Pro initiative has wrapped its three-year cycle of focusing on South-East Asia and Mongolia

Locarno Pro’s Open Doors Hub and Lab hand out their awards
Filmmaker Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke and producer Cattleya Paosrijaroen receiving the Open Doors Grant for their project A Useful Ghost

Locarno Pro’s Open Doors platform was held in a hybrid mode, online from the end of July and on-site during the 74th Locarno Film Festival from 6-10 August, and has wrapped by announcing its winners for the Hub co-production platform and the Lab producer training workshop. This was the last edition of the three-year focus on South-East Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) and Mongolia.

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In the Open Doors Hub, eight feature-length projects, represented by a director and one attached producer, all hailing from the focus region, introduced themselves to European and international professionals. The jury has awarded the following projects to support their development and production:

The Open Doors Grant is co-financed by the Swiss film production fund Visions Sud Est – with the backing of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) – and the City of Bellinzona. The Production Support, valued at CHF 35,000, went to A Useful Ghost by Thai filmmaker Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke, while the Development Support of CHF 15,000  and the Norwegian South Film Fund’s Sørfond Award, which allows the project to take part in its “Pitching from the South” event, go to Sam by E del Mundo from the Philippines.

The other prize for Development Support, valued at CHF 10,000, goes to The Beer Girl In Yangon by Sein Lyan Tun, a co-production between Myanmar, the Philippines and Indonesia, which also snatched the €8,000 development grant from the CNC. Finally, 9 Temples To Heaven by Sompot Chidgasornpongse, from Thailand, received the ARTE Kino International Prize, worth €6,000.

At the Open Doors Lab, nine creative producers participated, and for the first time the Open Doors – FAI Producers’ Grant was introduced with the contribution of the Fondation Assistance Internationale (FAI), and aims to be a concrete incentive for the development and promotion of the international career of one or more producers selected for the Open Doors Lab. The prize consists in a grant to participate in international programs and the guidance of a career coach. The first prize of a CHF 11,500 scholarship and CHF 3,500 for personal career coaching went to Xuan Trang Nguyen Thi from the Vietnamese company Lagi Limited, and the second prize of a CHF 3,500 scholarship and CHF 1,500 for personal career coaching, to freelance Cambodian producer Ines Sothea.

The Rotterdam Lab Award — which allows the winner to participate in the Rotterdam Lab workshop together with a delegation of producers in January 2022 — was given to Benji Lim (Kinovisuals, Malaysia). The screenwriters’ residency Moulin d’Andé-CECI Prize was given to Mongolian filmmaker Bat-Amgalan Lkhagvajav, to further develop her upcoming feature film project Butcher.

Here are all the winners of Open Doors 2021:

Open Doors Hub

Open Doors Grant
Production Support
A Useful Ghost – Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke (Thailand)
Producers: Cattleya Paosrijaroen, Soros Sukhum (185 Films Co.)

Development Support
Sam – E del Mundo (Philippines)
Producer: Pamela Reyes (Create Cinema)

The Beer Girl In Yangon – Sein Lyan Tun (Myanmar/Philippines/Indonesia)
Producer: John Badalu (PS Film Production)

Development Grant CNC
The Beer Girl In Yangon – Sein Lyan Tun

ARTE Kino International Prize
9 Temples To Heaven – Sompot Chidgasornpongse (Thailand)
Producer: Kissada Kamyoung (Kick the Machine Films)

Open Doors – Sørfond Award
Sam – E del Mundo

Open Doors Lab

Open Doors – FAI Producers’ Grant

First prize
Xuan Trang Nguyen Thi – Lagi Limited (Vietnam)

Second prize
Ines Sothea (Cambodia)

Open Doors - Rotterdam Lab Award
Benji Lim – Kinovisuals (Malaysia)

Open Doors - Moulin d’Andé-CECI Prize
Bat-Amgalan Lkhagvajav – Butcher (Mongolia)

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