Participation Up for Goa Film Bazaar

400 Delegates from 33 Countries Attended Four-Day Event

NEW DELHI -- The fourth edition of Film Bazaar held alongside the recently concluded International Film Festival of India in Goa has led to some projects receiving a boost, with the event seeing increased participation with over 400 delegates from 33 countries.

The Film Bazaar was organized by government-backed body National Film Development Corp.

The four-day event that took place from Nov. 23-26 showcased a variety of independent projects in need of further development and funding. Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni won the Hubert Bals Award and a cash prize of 5,000 Euros ($6634.50) to develop his script, Deool (Temple), and begin pre-production.

Kulkarni's project was selected from the 19 official entries shortlisted for the Bazaar's co-production projects.

The Rotterdman International Film Festival's CineMart initiative -- a long-time supporter of the Film Bazaar -- selected four upcoming producers who will be trained at the Rotterdam Lab. These include Guneet Manga for Urban Moon, Ritesh J Batra for Story of Ram, Rajesh Shera for Echoes and Priya Sreedharan for Shanghai.

“This year's event has seen a marked increase in participation and interest,” NFDC MD Nina Lath Gupta told The Hollywood Reporter. “We also expanded the Bazaar to include projects not just from India but also neighboring SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan, among others.”

The Bazaar's main thrust was also to network Indian industry professionals with international buyers and sales agents which included Farabi Foundation (Iran), Cinetic Rights Management (USA), Fortissimo Films (U.K.), The Yellow Affair (Finland), Rapid Eye Movies (Germany), Wide Management (France), Railto, (Netherland), Hanway Films (UK) and Wild Bunch (France).

Attracting a largely indie genre of projects rather than formulaic Bollywood or other commercial genres, among the projects that managed to secure funding included Ajitpal Singh's Chhota Aadmi (The Little Man).

According to NFDC, Pakistani filmmaker Javed Jabbar's Untitled was “in advanced stages of negotiations with an Australian sales agent” while Nepal's Goodbye Kathmandu by Nabin Subba was also in the process of securing funding.

The Bazaar's industry screenings section showcased about 30 titles such as Sahi Dhande Galat Bande, the directorial debut by actor Parvin Dabbas who found the screenings “a great platform for first time filmmakers like me, who could get valuable and precise feedback for my film from Marco Mueller, director of the Venice Film Festival, Europe’s leading film critic Derek Malcolm and veteran producer Olivia Stewart. It certainly gave me a global perspective and will surely help me hone my creative skills better.”

Mueller found the Bazaar an opportunity to get “close and personal with Indian talent and see the way Indian cinema is changing and growing.” In addition, the Bazaar's Work In Progress section – which included projects at various stages of development – was another attraction for Mueller.

“In three days we have been offered direct access to some of the most provocative new films that will come out in the first seasons of next year. The interaction with filmmakers and producers has provided us with a real opportunity for dialogue and exchange with some of the key creative people of this country," he said.

The Bazaar's Screenwriters Lab was organised with Binger Filmlab of the Netherlands and Locarno Film Festivals and showcased five pre-selected scripts from Indian writers who were mentored by international experts headed by Binger Filmlab's artistic director Marten Rabarts.

The Knowledge Series included seminars on various subjects such as pitching and packaging projects, navigating film festivals and independent financing, among others. Top Bollywood director Raju Hirani – whose 2009 hit 3 Idiots is the most successful Indian film of all time – and screenwriter Abhijat Joshi saw a packed session where the duo shared “Homemade Recipes for Indian Scripts."

The climax session of the series included a masterclass from Turkish-German director Fatih Akin in conversation with leading Indian director Anurag Kashyap.