'Aamis', 'Eeb Allay Ooo!' Win Facebook Awards at India's Film Bazaar

Wishberry Films
'Aamis'

Now in its 12th year, the Goa-based event puts the spotlight on up-and-coming Indian talent and movies.

Some of India's rising filmmakers saw their upcoming projects awarded at the Film Bazaar event in Goa over the weekend. Organized by the National Film Development Corporation, and now in its 12th year, the event 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 scriptwriting and producing workshops, have also ended up as India's Oscar submissions in the foreign-language category. These include last year's political satire Newton by Amit V Masurkar and this year's Oscar entry, Rima Das' Village Rockstars.

The honors include the Facebook Award — first given at the event's 2016 edition — which offer advertising credits worth $10,000 on the social media platform to winning films from the Film Bazaar Recommends section and the Work-in-Progress Lab. This year's FBR section featured 24 titles while the WIP Lab had five films.

The honors also include the Prasad Digital Intermediate awards from leading film services company Prasad Labs, which offers free postproduction services to winning projects that are nearing completion. The company also offers a 50 percent discount for DI services to all participants in the WIP Lab.

The Facebook Award in the FBR section was given to Aamis (Ravening) by Bhaskar Hazarika. The Assamese language film revolves around the relationship between a married woman in her late 30s and a young college student. Hazarika's debut film Kothanodi had its world premiere at Busan, where it received a postproduction grant from the Asian Cinema Fund. It also won the Indian National Award for best feature film in Assamese in 2015.

The Facebook Award from the WIP Lab went to Eeb Allay Ooo! by Prateek Vats, a satire that revolves around a migrant man in the capital New Delhi who is hired to capture stray monkeys in the city's high-security zone which is home to politicians and senior bureaucrats.

The Prasad Digital Intermediate award and the newly introduced Moviebuff Appreciation Awards were given to Nimtoh (Invitation) by Saurav Rai, Rukuni Koina (The Holy Bride) by Jadab Mahanta and Ajeeb Budhee Aurat (Strange Old Lady) by Kislay.

Mentors for the WIP lab who selected the winners included producer Philippa Campbell (Top of the Lake), film critic Derek Malcolm, Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival artistic director Marco Mueller, producer Olivia Stewart (Brassed Off) and editors Lizi Gelber and Anders Villadsen.

Jury members of the FBR section included Venice Film Festival programmer Paolo Bertolin, Venice Days programmer Renata Santoro and Sydney Film Festival director Nashen Moodley.

The Film Bazaar was held Nov. 20-24.