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Saint Lucian wins big at Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland

photo copyright is (c) Locarno Film Festival / ti-press / Massimo Piccoli

Saint Lucian and Caribbean filmmaker Michelle Serieux has been celebrated at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland after winning two prestigious Open Doors awards.

Both were for her film project in development, a supernatural thriller called Black Madonna, directed and produced by Michelle through her production company Imagine Caribbean.

The first award presented, “Open Doors – OIF – ACP – EU Award” will provide Michelle “with a mix of story-editing and co-production strategy support, advice on the development and refinement of the film dossier, based on the specific needs of the awarded project”.

The second award, “Open Doors – Moulin d’Andé-CECI Award” offers a “writing residency to an emerging director who took part in Open Doors 2022 (Hub, Lab or Screenings), enabling them to continue working on writing and development of their project”.

Michelle Serieux is the only filmmaker in that cohort from the Caribbean and the first St. Lucian filmmaker to win these two awards.

Michelle is particularly excited about the residency with a prestigious cultural institution in France, a major source of inspiration for new wave writers.

The Locarno Film Festival “OPEN DOORS” initiative has a new three-year focus dedicated to giving Latin America and Caribbean film projects an opportunity to reach out and engage industry players present at the festival in Switzerland.

Michelle Serieux, who lives in Mamiku on the east coast of St. Lucia has a MA in Film and Cinema Studies from Columbia University (with Honours in Narrative Strategies for New Media). She’s earned a BA (First Class Honours) in Media and Communication, Drama and Cultural Studies from the University of the West Indies.

Michelle Serieux is a writer/director/producer and founder of Imagine Caribbean, a boutique production company focused on presenting unique screen-stories about the Caribbean.

The most recent non-fiction project is Don’t Come Searching, an international collaboration with Canadian filmmaker Andrew Moir, recently had its world premiere at HotDocs 2022.

Current projects in development include the supernatural thriller Black Madonna, and a hybrid new media project the Virgin and the Whore.

Michelle is happy to be back home in Mamiku where her production company is based. The award-winning writer and director looks forward to working out of St. Lucia for the immediate future.

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