India's Film Bazaar Shortlists Co-production, Mentoring Projects

Film Bazaar India logo

The annual event mentors independent projects through international co-production programs and a screenwriter's lab while offering business networking opportunities.

NEW DELHI – Film Bazaar - the annual film market organized by India's state-run National Film Development Corporation - will run from Nov. 21-24 in Goa. Now in its sixth year, Film Bazaar, as in the past, will be held alongside the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) that runs Nov. 20-30. IFFI's opening film will be Ang Lee's Life of Pi.

With a specific focus on promoting South Asian-themed independent projects while offering a platform for upcoming talent, Film Bazaar includes various events and programs related to coproduction and screenwriting.

The 26 finalists in the Co-production Market hoping to attract funding and distribution from potential producers, funds and sales agents, include projects from India and overseas. Prominent titles include Kanu Behl's Titli (Butterfly) produced by well-known director Dibakar Banerjee (Shanghai), Gul Dharmani's Girls produced by director/editor Shimit Amin (who recently edited Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist), Opium directed by Anusha Rizvi (whose directorial debut was the acclaimed Peepli Live), Superboudi by edgy director Q (Kaushik Mukherjee) and Broken Hills by Nila Madhab Panda (I Am Kalam).

Film Bazaar's ongoing PrimeExchange co-production training program is supported and funded by the European Commission's Media Mundus initiative and implemented by Berlin-based Primehouse GmbH in co-operation with NFDC.  PrimExchange's main focus is to promote Indo-European coproduction projects.
The 11 finalists selected for this year's program - some set against Indo-European storylines - include: colonial romance Amok (Echo Arts Films, U.K.); Quiver, which revolves around an untouchable girl, to be directed by Gillies Mackinnon (Hideous Kinky) and produced by India-UK entity Aabru Media; seafaring thriller August Conspiracy (Ifilmfrance, France); child prodigy drama Gifted (Sikhya Entertainment, India); road movie The Lost Bike (Glamourstruck, India); romance-mystery Ghosts of India (Dragonfly Films, Germany); documentary Indian Kiss (Dugong, Italy); fantasy thriller No Guns at My Son’s Funeral (Parijat Entertainment, India); Omniyam, an Indian adaptation of the novel The Third Policeman by Flann  O’Brien,  (Oasis Motion Pictures, India); romantic drama Once Again (Neu Film, Germany); coming-of-age comedy Public School (Mysteo, France).

“Things are changing very rapidly in India. When we started four years ago, it was not easy to find Indian or European projects looking for co-production between the continents. Today, most of the projects we get are very promising, and it was hard work for the committee to do the final selection,” said PrimExchange organizer Primehouse CEO Frank Stehling.

The Screenwriter's Lab runs as a two-part workshop and is a partnership between NFDC and the Venice International Film Festival. The six selected finalists will be mentored to refine their Indian screenplays for the international film market under the supervision of industry experts. These include Script Lab Head, NFDC head of training and development and former artistic director of the Netherland-based Binger Filmlabs Marten Rabarts; Rotterdam festival programmer and industry advisor Bianca Taal; script advisor, producer and writer Olivia Stewart (credits include the Gillian Anderson-starrer The House of Mirth); Script Lab manager and screenwriter Urmi Juvekar  (credits include Bollywood hit comedy Oye Lucky Lucky Oye).

The selected screenplays are: Lipstick Under My Burkha by Alankrita Shrivastava, The Shadow Lines by Anupam Barve, Island City by Ruchika Oberoi, Dog Shooting by Siddhartha Sinha, Titli by Kanu Bahl  and Antaraal by Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni.

The Film Bazaar Work-In-Progress Lab gives five filmmakers a chance to have their rough-cut features viewed by a panel of advisors. This year's experts include Fortissimo Films senior VP acquisitions and development Chris Paton, director Sudhir Mishra (Hazaaron Khwashein Aisi) and producer Phillipa Campbell (Rain). The WIP finalists are: Bhacraa (The Divine Goat) by Janaki Vishwanathan, Crossing Bridges by Sange Dorjee Thongdok, Love by Abhineet Gogne, Phoring by Indranil Roychowdhury and Tumbad by Rahi Anil Barve.

Film Bazaar will also host a series of panel discussions and social events. Last year's market was attended by 635 delegates from 40 countries.