By Nigar Orujova
Azerbaijani films will be demonstrated at the 66th International Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland, which will be held August 7-17.
The open-air festival is taking place from 1946 in the "A" category, which includes the Cannes, Berlin, and Venice festivals.
The festival program includes the feature film "Chameleon" by Azerbaijani directors Rufat Hasanov and Elvin Adigozalov, the world premiere of which will take place during the festival.
The film was shot by the Adari Films Production and produced by Irada Bagirzade. The film became the winner of a script writing contest announced by the Producers Guild of Azerbaijan.
The festival will demonstrate the South Caucasus countries' movies. Azerbaijani films will be shown in a general retrospective at the "Open Doors" section of the festival, which is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Narimanfilm company said.
Azerbaijani filmmakers will present four films - "The Precinct", directed by Ilgar Safat, "Lighthouse", by Fariz Ahmedov, "Strange time" by Huseyn Mehdiyev and "The Bat" by Ayaz Salayev.
The "Open Doors" section, which will be opened on August 10-13, will be subdivided into two parts. Twenty-two films of the South Caucasus filmmakers will be shown within the first part. The second part, called "Co-Production Lab", will include 12 different projects, which were approved by the Festival to compete for obtaining the funding and partners for film projects.
The best project will receive 40,000 euros from the "Open Doors" jointly with the city of Bellinzona and the Swiss fund Visions Sud Est, while the second place winner will receive 7,000 euros from the CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée), and the third place winner will get 6,000 euros from the European TV channel ARTE.
Training sessions will also be held in the frame of the "Open Doors". The participants will be subdivided into 12 teams. The main purpose of the sessions is training of specialists, developing the dialogue between them, allowing the directors and producers to better understand the characteristics and differences of the film markets in different countries.
Training will help to optimize the financial strategy in the implementation of the project and will also help in acquiring experience on how to develop relations with potential international distributors to get bigger audience coverage for the films.
The best film of the festival's competition program gets the "Golden Leopard" award. The second prize is "Silver Leopard", while the best actor and best actress are awarded the "Bronze Leopard".
This year such well-known representatives of the film industry as Christopher Lee, Jacqueline Bisset and Otar Iosseliani will be guests of the Festival.