Goa, November 24th 2019: The final day of the 13th Film Bazaar was brought to a close with the announcements of awards to independent filmmakers for projects selected in the Film Bazaar Recommends and the Work-in-Progress section. These awards recognize cinematic excellence and promote the development of talent. The recipients were selected by a jury comprising of internationally acclaimed festival programmers/directors, producers and industry executives who also presented the awards to the winners alongside Smt T.C.A. Kalyani (MD of NFDC) and representative of the sponsors.
‘Pedro’ by Natesh Hegde and ‘Swizerland’ by Ajitpal Singh, won the Prasad Lab DI Award + Moviebuff Appreciation Award from amongst the Work-In-Progress (WIP) Lab films. The awards were decided by mentors of the WIP Lab which included Philippa Campbell (Producer), Derek Malcolm (Film Critic), Marco Mueller, (Film Critic & Historian, Artistic Director of PYIFF, Pingyao) Olivia Stewart (Producer), Lizi Gelber (Editor), Jacques Comets (Film Editor).
From amongst the incomplete Film Bazaar Recommends films which have not yet got their DI done section, the Prasad Lab DI Award + Moviebuff Appreciation Award went to ‘Pinki Elli?’ (Where Is Pinki?) by Prithvi Konanur. The jury members were Kiki Fung (Programmer from Hong Kong International Film Festival), Laurence Kardish (Artistic Director, FilmColumbia), Nashen Moodley (Festival Director, Sydney Film Festival).
These awards include the following for each film;
1. Free DI by Prasad Labs
2. Two version of DCI DCP free for a movie by Qube
3. Rupees Two Lakh (INR 2,00,000) worth of trailer promotion at QUBE cinema theatres (Max 300 theatres) for a movie.
4. Filmmakers will get a Qube Wire account with wallet worth of USD 500, which can be redeemed during Qube Wire deliveries.
In a happy surprise, it was announced that the 3 remaining films in the WIP Lab will also receive DI at 50% discount from Prasad Labs.
‘Laila Aur Satt Geet’ (The Shepherdess And The Seven Songs) by Pushpendra Singh won the VKAAO WIP Lab Award, which includes a certificate from VKAAO and Free Theatrical Distribution Deal with PVR Cinemas. The award was decided by the same jury of mentors who decided the Prasad Lab DI Award + Moviebuff Appreciation Award for films in the WIP Lab.
The VKAAO FBR Awards, chosen by an audience vote based on FBR Pitch and views in the Viewing Room, went to two films – ‘Gamak Ghar’ by Achal Mishra from amongst the completed films by a debut director and ‘rk/rkay’ by Rajat Kapoor from amongst the completed films by a non-debut director.
Each of these films won a certificate from VKAAO and will get a 75% discount on Theatrical Distribution.
The Film Bazaar has firmly established itself as the leading film market in the region which is clear from the 1116 delegates from 36 countries who participated in it, the largest number so far in its 13 years of existence. Speaking about the growing role of the Film Bazaar in harnessing independent filmmaking talent, Smt. T.C.A. Kalyani (MD of NFDC) said, “Film Bazaar is a multilingual, multi-national film market that gives a platform to diverse voices from across the region. This is clear from the fact that 268 projects across 30+ languages at various stages of progress were present in the market under its different sections.”
Sessions in the Knowledge Series saw Smt T.C.A. Kalyani (MD – NFDC) engage in a conversation with Richard Sharkey (International Producer) on how the potential of Film Facilitation Office (FFO) can be leveraged to make India a leading destination for international filmmakers to shoot in. Smt T.C.A. Kalyani said, “Our motto is to ensure a one-stop-shop for facilitation of shooting in India. In line with this, the single window clearance is a fantastic initiative of the Government of India to ensure ease of filming.”
In perhaps the most engaging panel of the day, Namrata Joshi (Associate Editor, Cinema, The Hindu) spoke with Swami Laxmi Narayan Tripathi (Human Rights Activist), and filmmakers Onir and Sridhar Rangayan. While all of them agreed that the perception of LGBTQ cinema and characters has changed for the better in the last ten years, there’s still a long way to go. Tripathi was especially vocal in highlighting the stereotyping of the transgender community that continues to ail Indian films.
A panel on the changing role of women in cinema brought together women producers from across the country. This included Soundarya Rajinikanth (Managing Director, May 6 Entertainment), Nandita Roy (Producer, Director, Windows Production), Shareen Mantri Kedia (Founder – Director of Namah Pictures), Dominique Welinski (Founder & Head of Production, DW) and Aditi Anand (Promoter, Director, Little Red Car Films). They pointed out the challenges that women still continue to face in the industry and discussed ways of making it easier for women to come up the ranks, and suggestions included fair compensation and safer and hygienic sets.
Other insightful panels involved those on the evolving OTT landscape in India with executives from multiple OTT platforms clarifying their respective approaches to content, a panel on the wide diversity of multiple Indian language cinemas outside of the Hindi film industry which had filmmakers from Maharashtra, Assam, and Gujarat share the inspirational story of their film’s journey, and another panel that simplified the complicated world of music rights for the filmmakers in the room.
Workshops on Skill Development, a new addition this year, continued on the final day of the Film Bazaar. Veteran filmmaker Hariharan Krishnan (Professor Arts and Director Media Lab, KREA University) took a master class on the history and theory of cinema, the need for films and why we make films. His discussion tied together filmmakers across time and geography, and films across themes and genres. He was also critical of the way filmmaking has been taught in the country, and wondered whether filmmaking can be taught at all.
The last workshop in the skill development sidebar was by Ms. Shylaja Chetlur (Actor, Entrepreneur, Filmmaker) who spoke on gender sensitivity in film scripts and on film sets. She spoke about the current scenario of the film industry and how large sections of the society including women and homosexuals continue to be discriminated against not just in films but also in our society. She highlighted the irony of casting a fair looking person in the role of a dark-skinned character, and then blackening their faces. She spoke about the need to break stereotypes and be more inclusive in the way they are shown on screen.
The Producers’ Workshop finished with the producers pitching their projects to their fellow producers and mentors for the workshop. The producers used everything they had learnt over the last three days and pitched their projects with fervour and passion. The mentors were impressed with the pitches, most of which dealt with the realities of India today and ranged across genres and themes.