The National Film Development Corporations’s (NFDC) Film Bazaar, now on, along with the International Film Festival of India, has seen incredible success in recent years. The Film Bazaar will run till November 24, while the Festival ends on November 30.
Movies have found co-producers, and have also been celebrated in international film festivals. Some others have had their scripts brushed up through mentoring by legends like critic Derek Malcolm.
The Film Bazaar facilitates negotiations between filmmakers and production houses.
At the recent Venice Film Festival, Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court – a legal drama that unfolds more outside the hallowed premises than within – won the best debut prize at the Orizzonti section. Avinash Arun’s Killa – about a boy who tries to grapple with his father’s death and his own rootlessness – clinched a Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in February. The movie is also part of the Indian Panorama. Kanu Behl’s Titli was at Cannes’ prestigious A Certain Regard, while Bikas Ranjan Mishra’s Chauranga (which struggled for years to get made), scooped the best movie trophy at the recent Mumbai Film Festival.
All these works have passed through the Film Bazaar. Some went via the script lab, some got co-producers and so on. Also, not in the very distant past, movies like The Lunchbox, Miss Lovely and Ship of Thesus have proved to be great hits. Miss Lovely played out two years ago at Cannes, while The Lunchbox was part of an important sidebar at the same Festival.
In an important way, the NFDC is fulfilling one of its earliest aims – to promote meaningful cinema. Long years ago, there was also a move to build small theatres that will screen films made by the NFDC. This never came through, but the Film Bazaar has given a fresh impetus to what one can rightly call the independent cinema movement.