~Out of 5 selected films, 4 are debut features – Pedro by Natesh Hegde, Shankar’s Fairies by Irfana Majumdar, Swizerland by Ajitpal
Singh and Uljhan by Ashish Pant ~
~The selected films are in three Indian languages – Hindi, Kannada and Gojri~
Mumbai: The 13th edition of Film Bazaar, organised by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) announces the five selected projects for its Work-In-Progress Lab 2019.
The selected projects in the Work-In-Progress Lab 2019 includes Laila Aur Satt Geet (The Shepherdess And The Seven Songs) directed by Pushpendra Singh (Gojri), Pedro directed by Natesh Hegde (Kannada), Shankar’s Fairies directed by Irfana Majumdar (Hindi), Swizerland directed by Ajitpal Singh (Hindi) and Uljhan (The Knot) directed by Ashish Pant (Hindi).
The Work-in-Progress Lab is open only for fiction features aiming for a theatrical release. A maximum of five films are selected for this Lab. The director and editor of the selected film screen their rough cuts to the panel of mentors and receive an in-depth one-on-one feedback. The international editor assigned to the film guides the director and editor of the selected film through two sessions of the editing lab, which takes place at Film Bazaar itself.
The international mentors include a film festival director, producer and film editors. They provide valuable feedback on the edit with the aim of helping the filmmaker achieve an accomplished final cut of the film.
Since its inception in 2008, the Work-in-Progress Lab has moulded films, which have gone on to premiere at top international film festivals and receive critical acclaim. Some of the past projects of this Lab include Eeb Allay Ooo! (2018), Aise Hee (2018), Nimtoh (2018), Soni (2017), Moothon (2017), Bombay Rose (2016), The Gold-Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain (2016), Lipstick Under My Burkha (2015), Thithi (2014), Titli (2013), Killa (2013), Miss Lovely (2011) and Ship of Theseus (2011).
NFDC Film Bazaar will take place from November 20th to 24th 2019, at the Marriott Resort, Goa, India.
Details of the selected projects for 2019 are –
1. Laila Aur Satt Geet (The Shepherdess And The Seven Songs)
96 min, Gojri
Director – Pushpendra Singh
Producer(s) – Gulab Singh, Sanjay Gulati, Ajit Singh Rathore
Pushpendra Singh studied at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, where he is now also a visiting faculty member. His directorial debut feature, Lajwanti (The Honour Keeper) (2014), premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. He is also working on his documentary, Pearl of the Desert (a recipient of Busan’s Asian Network of Documentary Fund), which tells about an extended family of low-caste Muslim musicians in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan. Ashwatthama (2017), his second feature (recipient of an Asian Cinema Fund – Post Production grant), premiered at the Busan International Film Festival in the New Currents Competition.
160 min, Kannada
Director – Natesh Hegde
Producer – Rishab Shetty
Natesh Hegde is an independent filmmaker working in Karnataka. He did his post-graduation in journalism from Karnataka University, Dharwad. He worked as a journalist in Kannada language newspaper Prajavani for a brief period. He also worked as a content writer for Viacom18 and Colors Kannada. He made his two short films Kurli (The Crab) and Distant using untrained actors in his native village. His short films have been screened at many National and International Film Festivals like New York Indian Film Festival, Dharamshala International Film Festival, Imagine Indian International Film Festival and SiGNS Film Festival, Kerala.
3. Shankar’s Fairies
85 min, Hindi
Director – Irfana Majumdar
Producer – Dr. Nita Kumar
Irfana Majumdar studied Theatre and Performance at the University of Chicago, and then founded the Nirman Theatre and Film Studio in Varanasi, India. She taught theatre, created experimental performances, did research on theatrical techniques and made documentary films. She then pursued further training in rigorous physical theatre forms. She has been awarded fellowships for her commitment to themes of social justice, unique processes of collaborative creation and new vision for theatre and film in India. Shankar’s Fairies is her first feature film, and has been a deeply personal, life-changing artistic experience. She brings to it her own aesthetic outlook, honed through the theatre, which combines visual dynamism and playful spatial relationships with nuanced character study. This gives a special quality to this film. A time and a culture is highlighted that is essential in deconstructing the inequalities – a part of every aspect of society in today’s India.
100 min, Hindi
Director – Ajitpal Singh
Producer – Ajay Rai, Alen McAlex
Ajitpal Singh is a self-taught filmmaker and photographer. He was 8 year old when his father ran a cinema hall in Punjab. After studying chemistry, learning theatre and photography in Ahmedabad, he chose filmmaking as his calling. His first feature script was selected for Sundance India Screenwriter’s Lab 2012. He was the youngest member of Indian delegation at Munich Film Festival 2009, selected by the Goethe Institute. He was also selected for 2007 Berlinale Talent Campus, New Delhi edition. The script of his directorial debut feature, Swizerland was selected in NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab, 2018. His latest short film, Rammat-Gammat (My Best Friend’s Shoes) won Special Mention at 64th Oberhausen International Short Film Festival and has travelled to over 40 major Indian and International film festivals including Oscar affiliated, Palm Springs Short Fest, Cinekid, and MAMI and won 5 awards including best short film. His other short, Hummingbird has also travelled to ten film festivals and has won the best short film award in France. He wrote dialogues for Once Again, a Germany-India co-production film and worked as an associate director for Gurgaon and an assistant director for Patang (Berlinale 2011). He has worked as a researcher for 16 German documentary films in India.
5. Uljhan (The Knot)
135 min, Hindi
Director – Ashish Pant
Producer – Kartikeya Singh
Ashish is an MFA (Film) from Columbia University, New York. Prior to making films, Ashish worked in the theater as an Assistant Director to directors such as the Late Stuart Vaughan, the Late Jack Hofsiss and Amy Wright. Ashish taught World Cinema at an Acting Conservatory in New York and is now teaching Screenwriting and Cinema Studies at a liberal arts college in New York. He spends his time between his hometown in Lucknow and in New York