Rome Festival Head Marco Mueller Among Mentors for India's Film Bazaar

Rome Film Festival artistic director Marco Mueller

The seventh edition of the National Film Development Corporation's co-production market and film workshop event will be held in November in Goa.

NEW DELHI – India's government-backed National Film Development Corporation announced details of its upcoming seventh edition of Film Bazaar, which will run Nov. 20-24 in Goa. Billed as a first of its kind event in South Asia, Film Bazaar will again feature various workshops and events including its Work-In-Progress Lab program, the Co-Production Market, the Screenwriters Lab and Indo-European producers' forum Primexchange.
The Work-in-Progress Lab gives five filmmakers a chance to have their rough-cut feature length films viewed by an eminent panel of international mentors, which this year include Rome Film Festival artistic director Marco Mueller, British film critic and historian Derek Malcolm, French Film Export Association ADEF chairman and Rezo Films president Laurent Danielou and acclaimed New Zealand-based producer and script consultant Philippa Campbell.

Indian Talent Going Global

The five projects selected for the Work-In-Progress Lab are: Attihannu Mattu Kanaja (Fig Fruit and The Wasps) directed by M S Prakash Babu; Titli (Butterfly) directed by Kanu Behl; Margarita With A Straw directed by Shonali Bose; Under Construction directed by Rubaiyat Hossain ; Killa directed by Avinash Arun.

Behl’s Titli, produced by well-known filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee (Shanghai), was among the finalists at last year's Screenwriters’ Lab and Co-production Market, after which leading Bollywood banner Yash Raj Films also boarded the project as a co-producer.

This year's Co-Production Market features 22 projects, including Bikas Ranjan's Wild Fire, which is also backed by Boost!, an initiative by the Hubert Bals Fund and the Rotterdam Film Festival's CineMart and Binger Filmlab. The other project in the Co-Production Market with international backing is Shripriya Mahesh's Varenya, supported by the New York-based Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP).

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The market includes projects from Pakistan (Sabiha Sumar's Dawaat Nama), Sri Lanka (Prasanna Jayakody's 28-Sri), Poland (Piotr Trzaskalski's Incredible), Afghanistan (Roya Sadat's Warm Bread and the Nipple's Circle), Canada (Niara Modi's Malabar Court and Jogavindra S Khera's The Watchmaker) and the U.K. (Robert Mullan's Son of India and Valeria Sarmiento's Amok).
Two of India's acclaimed filmmakers also have projects in the market: Shyam Benegal's  Roads to Freedom and Govind Nihalani's A Holy Fire. The market also includes Gaganvihari Borate' Oont (The Camel Ride); Rohit Pandey's Taramandal (Constellation); Alankrita Shrivastava's Lipstick Under My Burkha; Mahendra Jakhar's Bhiwani; Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni's Highway; Scorpion's Song directed by Anup Singh, whose latest Qissa -- co-produced by NFDC -- premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and won an award at the recently concluded Mumbai Film Festival.
The six finalists in the Screenwriters' Lab are: Rajesh Jala's Chingari (The Spark); Varun Grover's Maa Bhagwatiya IIT Coaching (Mother Goddess Coaching Classes); Nikhil Mahajan's Dainik (The Daily); Bela Negi's Kalaapani (Dark Waters); Shanker Raman's My Brother the Salesman and I; Ashish Aryan's T for Taj Mahal.

The Bazaar's Primexchange program returns for the fifth time this year with ten projects selected from 50 applications and will run from 18-24 November.

The projects selected are:  Black Salt (Courtyard Entertainment, India); Guide (Vyjayanthi Entertainment, India); The Hermit (Louise Productions, Switzerland); The Importance of Being Chunky (Avatar Productions, UK); The Music Teacher (White Lotus Films, India); Nuclear Hearts (Overdose Art, India); Remember: Your Name is Freedom (Italy); Seven Stages (Aimimage Production, UK); Sheen Wigne (Saffron Films/Anticlock Films, India) and Taxi Therapy (Overlook Production, Italy).

To celebrate its fifth anniversary, Primexchange has also invited a guest project, In Search of a Miracle, a docudrama based on renowned historian and writer William Dalrymple’s Nine Lives.
Implemented by Berlin-based Primehouse in collaboration with NFDC and funded by the European Commission's Media Mundus, Primexchange acts as a first of its kind co-production forum for independent European and Indian producers.

Over the years, NFDC's Film Bazaar has yielded several projects that have attracted critical and commercial acclaim. These include Ritesh Batra's much-appreciated The Lunchbox, which premiered at Cannes this year where it was picked up for U.S. distribution by Sony Pictures Classics; India's 2013 Oscar entry The Good Road directed by Gyan Correa; Anand Gandhi’s Ship of Theseus, picked up by Fortissmo Films, which also acquired Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely; Manjeet Singh’s Mumbai Cha Raja and Ajay Bahl’s B.A. Pass.