Natesh Hegde's 'Pedro,' Ajitpal Singh's 'Swizerland' Among Winners at India's Film Bazaar

Courtesy of NFDC

The 13th edition of the mentorship event put the spotlight on up and coming Indian independent films which, in the past, have included some of the country's Oscar entries, such as 'Newton' and 'Court.'

India's independent scene received a boost Sunday at the 13th NFDC Film Bazaar, which awarded upcoming films at various stages of development.

Organized by the government's National Film Development Corporation, Film Bazaar is a mentorship and market event which connects projects with potential producers, buyers and festival curators.

Two projects from the Work in Progress stream — Natesh Hegde's Pedro, which revolves around a middle-aged lineman, and Ajitpal Singh's Swizerland, about a poor mother's love for her son — were presented the Prasad Lab DI Award from leading film services company Prasad Labs, which will offer free postproduction services to the winning projects that are nearing completion. Both films also won the Moviebuff Appreciation Award.

The prizes were decided by mentors of the WIP Lab and included producer Philippa Campbell, film critic Derek Malcolm, Pingyao and PYIFF artistic director Marco Mueller, producer Olivia Stewart and film editors Lizi Gelber and Jacques Comets.

The three remaining projects in the WIP lab also received a 50 percent discount for Digital Intermediate post services from Prasad Labs.

The Film Bazaar Recommends section awarded Prithvi Konanur's Pinki Elli? (Where Is Pinki?) with the Prasad Lab DI Award and Moviebuff Appreciation Award. The jury members consisted of Hong Kong International Film Festival programmer Kiki Fung, FilmColumbia artistic director Laurence Kardish and Sydney Film Festival director Nashen Moodley.

Pushpendra Singh's Laila Aur Satt Geet (The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs), which chronicles the plight of a beautiful young woman in rural Kashmir, won the VKAAO WIP Lab Award, which includes a free theatrical distribution deal with India's leading cinema chain PVR Cinemas.

The VKAAO FBR (Film Bazaar Recommends) Award, chosen by an audience vote, went to two films — Gamak Ghar by Achal Mishra from among the completed movies by a debut director, and rk/rkay by actor-director Rajat Kapoor from among the completed films by a non-debutant director. Those films also earned a 75 percent discount on theatrical release from PVR Cinemas.

This year's edition of Film Bazaar attracted 268 projects across over 30 languages at various stages of production, while 1,116 delegates from 36 countries attended the event.

Over the years, Film Bazaar has mentored numerous films over the years, such as The Lunchbox, which have traveled to Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto and other festivals. In addition, many titles that participated in the Bazaar's multiple strands covering screenwriting and producing workshops have also ended up as India's Oscar submissions in the foreign-language film category. They include the political satire Newton by Amit V Masurkar and Rima Das' Village Rockstars, among others.

Film Bazaar ran from Wednesday-Sunday.