Co-production markets between African filmmakers and European production houses/financiers certainly aren’t new. Several films we’ve covered on this site were made under like agreements; like Viva Riva!, for example – which was a Congolese, French, Belgian and South African co-production, funded by Canal Plus and Belgium’s film fund.

This year, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Swiss Foreign Ministry, the Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors co-production mart will focus on Sub-Saharan African countries that weren’t included in last year’s event.

This initiative focuses on a different region every year and operates in two modes: First, the Open Doors Co-production Lab brings professionals from the chosen regions 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.

Second, 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 were not 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.

Deadline for submission is March 3rd, 2014.

To submit a film project, go to