Nandita Das, Kanu Behl, Prasanna Vithanage in NFDC Film Bazaar

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Oct 20, 2015 14:09 IST
Nandita Das will bring her new venture, Manto (on the famed Pakistani writer), to the Bazaar for funding. (Nanditadas/Facebook)

One of the highlights of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is the Film Bazaar, organised by the National Film Development Corporation of India. Held every year from November 20 to 24 -- the first four days of the festival -- at Goa’s Panaji, the Bazaar has not only attracted some of the luminaries of world cinema, but also conducted workshops by eminent critics and moviemakers that helped polish scripts as well find co-sponsors for film projects.

Kanu Behl made his directorial debut with Titli (2014). (Kanu.behl/Facebook)

This year, 19 South Asian projects have been chosen for the Bazaar’s Co-production Market. These include those by Kanu Behl (whose debut Titli premiered at Cannes in 2014 and which will open theatrically in India on October 30), Aditya Vikram Sengupta (whose debut Labour of Love was screened at Venice in 2014) and master Sri Lankan director Prasanna Vithanage (whose With You Without You, {Piragu in Tamil} was shown at IFFI some years ago but which was not allowed to be exhibited in Chennai) and Fahad Mustafa (whose documentary, Katiyabaaz, won kudos).

A still from Sri Lankan director Prasanna Vithanage’s With You, Without You.

Vithanage’s work is sheer poetry of love, the love between a Sri Lankan soldier-turned-pawn-broker and a Tamil girl, whose family had suffered during the civil strife.

And then we also have Tamil Nadu’s Arun Karthik with his Asai Mugam, and Prakash Babu from Karnataka with his Nigudha Manushyaru. Babu’s Fig Fruit and the Wasps premiered at the Beijing International Film Festival in April. Pure cinema, Babu’s work is hauntingly minimalist and describes the wait of a cinema director and her cameraman for a singer in a remote village.

Read: Nandita Das on San Sebastian film fest jury

The Bazaar will also help Ritesh Batra (whose Lunchbox was raved at in Cannes a few years ago) with his Pirates. Batra is producing it along with Raj Rishi More.

Nandita Das (after her acclaimed Firaaq) will bring her new venture, Manto (on the famed Pakistani writer), to the Bazaar for funding. She was also at Cannes in May on a similar quest.

This year, the Bazaar is introducing Open Pitch -- where select helmers will showcase their projects to a curated audience of Indian and international producers, financiers and sales agents.

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