Locarno Festival’s Open Doors Highlights Latin America, the Caribbean

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Having focused since 2016 on emerging film talent in lesser-known parts of South and South East Asia, Open Doors, the Locarno Festival’s flagship co-production forum and talent incubator, is turning its focus to Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Of the 24 directors featured at this year’s edition, 15 identify as female or gender non conforming, led by Ecaudor’s Ana Cristina Barragán whose 2016 debut “Alba” won nods at Rotterdam and  San Sebastián and Yanillys Pérez whose documentary “Jeffrey” scooped a Discovery Awards at the Toronto Festival. 

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Both have new projects at the Open Doors Co-Production Hub, as does Yashira Jordán with “Diamond,” a coming of age tale about a Quechua trap artist last glimpsed at Málaga this year. 

Men directors take in Michael Labarca a winner at Cannes’ Cinéfondation film school shorts competition in 2016, and Guatemala’s Mauricio Escobar whose “Los Invisibles” is a social realist tale wrapped around the phenomenon of domestic migration in Guatemala. It is set up at La Danta, whose partners include Cannes 2019 Camera d’Or winner César Díaz (“Our Mothers”).

Also selected for Open Doors’ Co-Production Hub, a platform for feature-length projects looking for international collaboration, is Guaraní language “Kokue,” the fiction feature debut of Paraguay’s Miguel Aguëro, based on his memories of growing up in the Paraguayan countryside.  

Presented at the Costa Rica Film Festival, Montero’s “Men Die Sooner” turns on an estranged son who returns to his horse breeding family home, only to question its power dynamics. Also making the Open Doors’ cut, “MOA,” is the last from admire São Paulo-based Cuban documentarist Marcel Beltrán (“La Música de las Esferas”).

The delegation will participate in the first part of the program online over July 22-29 and then meet industry professionals at the Locarno Festival over Aug. 4-10.

Open Doors’ Producers’ Lab is a training workshop for creative producers bringing feature projects to Locarno.

Co-Production Hub

“Cuando Cae la Lluvia”

Director: Yanillys Pérez

Producer: Yanillys Pérez, YPR Films

Dominican Republic


Director: Yashira Jordán

Producer: Alvaro Olmos Torrico, Empatia Cinema



Director: Miguel Agüero

Producer: Cynthia García Calvo, Asociación Cultural Arraigo, CYAN prods

Paraguay, Chile

“Los Hombres Morimos Antes”

Director: Federico Montero

Producer: Alexandra Latishev, La Linterna Films

Costa Rica, Uruguay


Director: Marcel Beltrán

Producer: Paula Gastaud, Mediocielo Films

Cuba, Brazil

“Muchachos Bañándose en el Lago”

Director: Michael Labarca

Producer: Patricia Ramírez Arévalo, Todos Los Ríos

Venezuela, Chile, France

“Los invisibles”

Director:  Andres Rodríguez

Producer: Mauricio Escobar, La Danta Films


“Sopor y Ave”

Director: Ana Cristina Barragán

Producer: Joe Houlberg, Boton Films

Ecuador, Argentina, Spain


Producers’ Lab

A training workshop for creative producers with feature projects

Ricardo B’atz’

Cayaguanca Films, El Salvador

María Félix Morales Lotz

Asertiva, Nicaragua

Daniela Fuentes Moncada

Epopeya S.A., Ecuador

Karolina Hernandez Chaves

Dos Sentidos, Costa Rica

Gilbert Mirambeau

Muska Group, Haiti

Illari Orccottoma

Independent Producer, Peru

Nadean Rawlins

RAW Management, Jamaica

Michelle Serieux

Imagine Caribbean, Saint Lucia

Camila Urrutia

Camaleon Films, Guatemala

Pablo Sandoval contributed to this article.

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