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Locarno Open Doors Awards 2009

The awards for the 2009 Open Doors Factory, the Locarno Film Festival’s co-production lab that is organised with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), were announced on Wednesday August 12.

The Winners of the Open Doors Award 2009. From left: YANG Jin, YANG Qing, Isabelle Glachant, WANG Xiaoshuai

The 2009 session was devoted to cinema from Greater China. 12 projects, selected out of 114 applications from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, participated in the 4-day workshop that took place during the Festival, whose objective is to assist their directors and producers to find co-production partners and to complete their films.
The jury, composed by Vincenzo Bugno and Luciano Barisone for the Locarno Festival and by Walter Ruggle and Martial Knaebel representing the Swiss support fund for production "visions sud est", decided upon the following grants, awarded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC):
- One grant for production, worth 50,000 Swiss francs, goes to :

WO SHI YI (ELEVEN FLOWERS) by WANG Xiaoshuai, produced by Isabelle Glachant for Chinese Shadows (Hong Kong)

- Two grants for development, worth 15,000 Swiss Francs each, go to:

GONG LU BA HAO (BUS No.8) directed and produced by YANG Qing (Mainland China)

ZHAN MEI CONG MING (DON'T EXPECT PRAISES) by YANG Jin, produced by Helen Cui for Tianlin Film Production, Beijing (Mainland China)

The Jury decided to present two development grants because of the nature of the projects being mainly at the writing and development stage.

"For the 2009 Open Doors session, we selected twelve high-quality projects, all of them very different from one another in terms of form and content. We were proud to see that they created a great interest in the many producers from all countries participating to the one-to-one meetings. We are now eagerly waiting to see the films on screen! ", comments Festival Director Frédéric Maire.
Open Doors Project Manager Vincenzo Bugno comments "If we consider the situation in Greater China, we can see how cinema in this region is able to count on numerous resources. The leading film studios have access to major production facilities. It is certainly not our desire to stigmatize cinema which is distinctly more commercial in nature.
But Open Doors stands for the promotion of independent filmmaking with its ambitious pursuit of aesthetic excellence and content – cinema which is both innovative and autonomous. Our hope is that the 2009 co-production lab will help to bring to light many stories which up until now have remained untold. "
Aside from the workshop, the Open Doors Screenings, aimed at both festival goers and professional delegates, run until the end of the Festival. The 2009 programme presents a selection of 23 key films made in recent years in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It includes both films made by directors participating in Open Doors Factory, thus facilitating dialogue with the audience, and works by other filmmakers from the region.

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