With support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Swiss Foreign Ministry, the Open Doors section aims primarily at assisting directors and producers from countries in the South and the East, where independent filmmaking is vulnerable, and is committed to enabling them to find co-production partners for their new projects.
This initiative focuses on a different region every year and operates in two modes. On the one hand the Open Doors Co-production Lab brings professionals from the chosen region together with potential partners, mostly from Europe, to foster support for projects that would otherwise be difficult to complete. Every year, following a call for submissions, the Festival selects a dozen new projects from the chosen region and at the end of the workshop, the winning projects receive either development or production support.
On the other hand, in order to introduce the Festival audience to the cinematographic and cultural landscape of the chosen region, a number of films are chosen each year to be part of the Open Doors Screenings, a non-competitive section of the Festival.
Since its inception, Open Doors has showcased projects from Cuba and Argentina, countries in the Mekong, the Maghreb, South-East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand), the Near and Middle East (Mashrek), Latin America, Greater China, central Asia, India, Sub-Saharan francophone Africa and the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia).
In 2014, Open Doors will welcome again film projects from Sub-Saharan Africa: this time the Lab will focus on all countries, which have not been included in the 2012 edition.
Eligible countries are: Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.