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Film Bazaar, the annual mentorship and market event organized by the Indian government’s National Film Development Corporation, has unveiled its list of South Asian co-production projects for this year.
The 14 selected projects hail from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, France, Nepal, Singapore and the U.S., spanning multiple languages, from Hindi to Bhutan’s Dzongkha dialect.
The Bazaar’s co-production market acts as a platform to connect the selected filmmakers with co-production partners and financial collaborators while offering networking opportunities with festival directors, programmers, sales agents and producers.
The co-production projects for this year are:
1. Aamar Xokolure Bhaalpowa (All Our Loves): This Assamese-language feature is directed by Mehdi Jahan, whose credits include the award-winning short Jyoti and Joymoti. The project is produced by Heer Ganjwala of Human Trail Pictures, whose credits include Mor Mann Ke Bharam, which premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
2 Anantah (Eternity): After winning a best screenplay award at the recently concluded Mumbai Film Festival for his film Nimtoh (Invitation), director Saurav Rai returns with this Nepali-language project, re-teaming with producer Sanjay Gulati of Crawling Angel Films.
3. Ayna (The Mirror): Among her numerous accolades, Alka Raghuram won the director of the year award at the IDF film festival in 2017 for her feature documentary Burqa Boxers. For this Hindi-language project, Raghuram’s Junoon Pictures teams with producer Celine Loop’s Traveling Light Productions.
4. Eka (Solo): This India, Bangladesh and France Bengali-language project marks advertising professional Suman Sen’s directorial debut. It will be produced by Bijon Imtiaz and Arifur Rahman via their Goopy Bagha Productions Limited banner.
5 Ettemedam (The Deathplace): Jiju Antony’s Malayalama-language directorial debut will be produced by Shaji Mathew, who has backed acclaimed projects such as festival favorite Sexy Durga.
6. Feast: Singapore-based Leon Cheo, who has participated in various labs such as Berlinale Talents, helms this Hindi-English production. The project earned a development grant at Talents Tokyo’s Next Masters Support Program in 2016 and was also selected for the Torino Film Lab Extended (Singapore) in 2018. Feast will be produced by Jen Nee Lim’s Pilgrim Pictures Pte. Ltd.
7. Home of the Rain Catcher: Celebrity chef Vikas Khanna, whose credits include the 2010 doc The Holy Kitchens and his directorial debut this year, The Last Color, which premiered at Palm Springs, returns with his latest Hindi project, which will be produced by Jitendra Mishra, Bindu Khanna and P Kaul’s House of Omkar banner.
8. I, the Song: This Dzongkha-language project by Dechen Roder, one of the few female filmmakers from Bhutan, adds to her filmography, which includes debut feature Honeygiver Among the Dogs, which premiered at Busan in 2017. Set up as a Bhutan-France co-production, the project will be produced by Thinley Choden and Dechen Roder’s Dakinny Productions
9. Indreni Pari (Across the Rainbow Bridge): Nepalese director Niranjan Raj Bhetwal’s credits include Kafal Pakyo (Bayberries Have Ripened), which traveled to various festivals. The project will be produced by Ram Krishna Pokharel’s Icefall Productions.
10. Sabras (Salt): New York-based writer-director Sushma Khadepaun is currently working on her MFA in screenwriting and directing at Columbia University. Her 2016 short film Foren premiered at Palm Springs ShortFest. Her script for her feature debut Salt was a finalist at the Hamptons Screenwriting Lab and is currently in the second round at Sundance Labs. The project will be produced by Andrea Kuehnel’s Leitwolf Filmproduktion GmbH.
11. Sand City: Bangladesh-based director Mahde Hasan’s short films I Am Time (2013) and Death of a Reader (2017) were showcased at Locarno. His Bengali-language debut Sand City participated at Locarno’s Open Doors and received a CNC development grant. The project is produced by Rubaiyat Hossain, whose directorial debut Made in Bangladesh premiered at Toronto and London. Also boarding as producers are Aadnan Imtiaz Ahmed and François D’artemare.
12. The Displaced: Director Vijay Jayapal’s credits include his 2016 Tamil-language debut Revelations, which premiered at Busan, as did his latest film, Nirvana Inn, which also received support from Busan’s Asian Cinema Fund (ACF). His third feature, The Displaced, a Hindi-language title, was part of the NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab in 2017. The project is produced by Mathivanan Rajendran’s Stray Factory banner.
13. Schirkoa: Animation filmmaker Ishan Shukla’s project is based on his earlier short film Schirkoa.
14. Varna Heights: Director Rajan Khosa, known for 2012 feature Gattu, which won a special mention at Berlin in addition to playing at multiple festivals, returns with his latest Hindi-language project. The India-U.S. project will be produced by Meraj Shaikh’s Wingman Pictures.
This year’s Film Bazaar will again be held at the Goa Marriott Resort, Nov. 20-24.
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