Sophie Bourdon is Head of Open Doors, Locarno Film Festival and Deputy Head of Locarno Pro. Formerly she was the Chief Executive of ACE – Ateliers du Cinéma Européen, and is currently working as a freelancer for the international film industry at the crossroads between training/conferences (Digital Production Challenge II programme), consulting in co-productions & international sales. Since 2016 she has been running the coproduction platform Open Doors of Locarno Film Festival focused on South Asian countries till 2018. Open Doors is moving to South East Asia and Mongolia in 2019-21. The 2019 dates for the 72nd edition of Locarno Film Festival are 7-17 August. Her main objective is to help build bridges between filmmakers, producers from Europe and their peers from other continents and vice versa. During the 11 years spent at the Head of ACE (2000-2011), she was not only responsible for the fundraising of this non-profit organisation but also for the design and organisation of 30 professional workshops and 40 seminars. She has been working as a financing/sales expert with 200 independent film producers on the development of their features, launched and developed the ACE Network that today gathers more than 160 producers from all over the world. Prior to ACE, she worked as an international sales agent for 10 years in Paris for the companies MK2, Mercure Distribution and GPFI, supporting directors such as Chabrol, Pialat, Kieslowski, Pintilie, Haneke, Kiarostami, Makhmalbaf, Kerrigan, Nossiter and Ripstein.
Sabiha Sumar is a multiple award-winning filmmaker and a Sundance alumnus with over 25 years of experience in the industry. As writer, director and producer she has made narrative features as well as documentaries. Her most notable films are Who Will Cast the First Stone (Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival), Khamosh Pani/Silent Watesr (Golden Leopard, Locarno Film Festival and 16 other awards worldwide), Dinner with the President (EU Best Documentary award and Anasy Award, Abu Dhabi) and Azmaish, a journey through the subcontinent. She produced the Academy Award and Emmy winner Saving Face. Her works have screened at major film festivals such as Sundance, Tiff, Locarno, BFI LFF. Many of Sabiha’s films have been commissioned by ZDF/Das kleine Fernsehspiel, Arte and 3Sat as well as BBC Films, Channel 4, PBS and Aljazeera.
For Pakistani TV Channels, Sabiha has directed drama series and talk shows and conducted several workshops for directors and actors as well as been the Creative Head for technical training workshops in camera, sound and light.
Sabiha is the Co-Founder and CEO of Vidhi Films.
Rachel Mathews is a UK screenwriter based in Berlin. She has made award-winning short films and written plays for BBC Radio 4. Her feature film Into the Dark Woods won the Wellcome Trust’s‚ ‘Inspired by Science’ Award and is slated to go into production in 2019. Having traveled and taught screenwriting in Myanmar (Burma) over the past 10 years, she was recently show-runner on The Sun, The Moon & The Truth, one of Myanmar‘s first TV drama series, as well as script doctor on Hungary‘s longest running daily, Baratok Kozt.
She is a full time tutor at Yangon Film School in Myammar as well as part time with Open Doors, Locarno.
Saim Sadiq currently teaches scriptwriting at Columbia University, Undergarduate Program. His short film “Nice Talking to You” won six awards at the Columbia University Film Festival 2018 including Vimeo Best Director. The film also earned him the 2018 Kodak Student Scholarship Gold award, which is the top honor from amongst applicants around the world.
In 2018 his film project Gulaab (Rose) was chosen to participate at the Open Doors Hub, at Locarno where it attracted a lot of attention. A German Co-producer is now on board and the script has received serious interest from ZDF/kleine Fernsehspiel.
Saim's short narrative film Darling won the Best Short Film Award at Venice Film Festival, 2019
Paul Miller is a partner at Amsterdam based The Foundry, which supports producers to finance their projects and UAE based, Film Solutions, which develops and produces Arabic and English language content for the international market.
Previously, Miller was Director of Film Financing at the the Doha Film Institute and Head of Film Production at New York based Crossroads Films, under deal with United Artists/MGM.
Miller’s credits include Golden Globe nominated, A Love Song For Bobby Long (John Travolta and Scarlett Johansson), Prozac Nation (Chistina Ricci, Jessica Lange and Michelle Williams), and John Sayles’ Golden Globe nominated Men with Guns, the Academy Award nominated Lone Star.
Miller was educated at the National Film and Television School in the U.K. He is a member the DGA and the PGA. He is frequent speaker and panalist on international film financing.
Miller has most recent film Sayidat Al Bahr (Scales) directed by Saudi filmmaker, Shahad Ameen recently premiered in Critic’s Week at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.