Away from the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) venue, at Goa’s Marriot hotel, one stands to bump into the who’s who of the industry. Creating a niche market for Indian filmmakers, producers, distributors, and anyone who is actively invested in Indian cinema, the Film Bazaar, in its ninth edition, started off with a bang, on 21 November, a day after the inauguration of IFFI. “I have been here last year. It is an amazing idea and if you have the resources, this could be a way to get your film across,” says a filmmaker whose film was selected for the work-in-progress lab at Film Bazaar, on day one.
The work-in-progress lab gives selected filmmakers the opportunity to screen their movie to an eminent panel of advisers. Not only does the lab provide additional inputs to the filmmakers, the lab also enables filmmakers to prepare their films for international premieres around the globe. Ask Pavan Kaul and Kavita Oberoi Kaul, the makers of The Answer: A True Story, who are on the lookout for distributors at Film Bazaar, and they are bursting with optimism. “Our movie has already been around the festival circuit. Here, we are on the lookout for distributors who would help us release it commercially,” says the producer-director duo, who is also married to each other.
As a part of their NFDC knowledge series, Bazaar has also lined up an interesting panel of experts and film personalities. These include the likes of AR Rahman, Kabir Khan, Anurag Kashyap, and Anurag Basu. The third edition of Producer’s Lab, a platform for participants to pitch their stories to prospective buyers, is also in full swing.
“We believe that this edition of the bazaar, and the coming editions, would make quantum leaps for Indian cinema,” says Sunil Arora, Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. “We have had very candid conversations with filmmakers, script writers at the Bazaar, and they have been open with us on the various hurdles faced by them in the industry. This is a start and we hope to go a long way and get better with time.”