The 10th edition of the NFDC Film Bazaar held in Marriott, Goa from November 20-24 witnessed an eventful day 2.

Kiran Rao who attended the Film Bazaar this year spent most of her time catching diverse South Asian films in the Viewing Room. She said in an interview that Aamir Khan Productions will attend the next edition of the NFDC Film Bazaar.

The Film Bazaar that is now 10 years old was the most necessary intervention for Indian cinema,” said Kiran Rao. “It has changed the landscape of how films are made and distributed, and really brought the film community together. It’s a fantastic and much-needed annual event. Next year, Aamir Khan Productions will attend the Film Bazaar; we hope to look for projects, meet people and find talent here. I’m really really excited about it. I came to see the Viewing Room which is such a great resource that Deepti (Deepti DCunha, Programmer of WIP and Viewing Room) has created.”

The veteran actor Shabana Azmi and Tannishtha Chatterjee conducted a Producers’ Lab session on ‘How to Pitch To an Actor’ for filmmakers.

Shabana Azmi, who attended the Film Bazaar for the first time, was also there to promote her upcoming film Idgah which is a part of the ‘Film Bazaar Recommends’ section. She said, “Being at the Film Bazaar for the first time really introduced to the fact that there is a formal way in which film business can be conducted. I think it’s important because I’m very interested in the work of first-time filmmakers and I think, if given a platform like this, where you can learn different aspects about the business, rather than just sort of learn it as you go along, it is a very important and valuable contribution that is being made.”

The day continued on a high note with Abhay Deol acquiring three NFDC Film Bazaar titles – critically-acclaimed indie films Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s Labour of Love (Viewing Room & FBR, 2014), Payal Sethi’s Leeches (Viewing Room, 2015) & Brahmanand’s Kaagaz Ki Kashti (Viewing Room, 2016) and championing a straight-to-digital release route for the productions.

Personally curated by Deol, a regular attendee at the Film Bazaar who couldn’t make it this year says, “The Film Bazaar has been happening now for 10 years. I have attended it at least a good three to four times, and I have seen a lot of growth each time and it’s really exciting. Nina (Nina Lath Gupta, MD NFDC) has worked on it so dedicatedly with a small team, and the structure that they’ve put forward is very productive. It’s great that they entertain projects in all stages of development, whether it’s in pre-production or in post-production. The Film Bazaar creates an environment that aids the filmmaker at various levels, and it’s become accessible to a lot of people.“

The Knowledge Series started with the Investor Pitch of Film Bazaar Recommends (Part I) which screened documentary and film trailers followed by a short presentation by the filmmakers, highlighting the support that they needed to complete their process.

Baradwaj Rangan moderated a discussion with filmmaker Prakash Jha, actor Tannishtha Chatterjee, actor, theatre artist/filmmaker/screenwriter Vani Tripathi Tikoo on Women Protagonists in Indian Filmscape – Changing Dynamics.

I think these tags of a film being ‘women-oriented’ and ‘heroine-oriented’ have to slowly go out at some point, to feel that we are reaching a point of gender equality, and recognizing that cinema is essentially a medium of storytelling,” said Tannishtha Chatterjee. “A female-oriented film for me would just be another story with a female protagonist, without a need to underline that fact. We need to go beyond that and just tell our stories. I also feel like messaging in our pop culture without didactic features are important, so that we can break the stereotypes through our characters and protagonists, regardless of whether they are men or women.

It’s important to highlight the truths about women today, no matter how ugly they are,” Vani Tripathi Tikoo said. “Once we address this, the change is cumulative, and only then will it be accepted widely as a part of our culture and society.”

Building Communities and Icons

Head of Content Operations, YouTube India, Satya Raghavan conducted an engrossing session to an audience packed beyond capacity about the burgeoning digital space and the platform that Youtube has provided filmmakers.

On monetization of a Youtube channel, he said, “Once you turn on the section called monetization in your backend control centre, only then will it serve you ads. You also have to think about whether you’re sending the right signals through your content, which is by giving good descriptions, that help to identify the content and helps us match it with viewers on the other side.” 

On piracy in the digital space, he said, “When you upload that film on YouTube, a fingerprint of that film is created. If somebody else is uploading that film, there are a certain proofs by which you come to know about this. YouTube is perhaps the only platform where you can actually know that someone has put up your content but you need to put your content up first, because about 500 hours of content is being uploaded every minute. This is a great system that allows the content owner to understand if their content is being pirated.”

Unique Distribution Models – Reaching Out With Independent Films

Moderator by filmmaker Rohan Sippy, panelists on this discussion included filmmakers Sandeep Mohan, director of Love, Wrinkle-Free and Hola Venky!, and Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, who started ‘Cinema Cab’, a movement to screen films across the length and breadth of Kerala, and co-founder and CEO of Reelmonk Vivek Paul.

Rohan Sippy explored the intricacies of the two filmmakers’ approaches, which both thrived on a non-monetary promotional approach and remarked, “It’s very interesting how you have managed to create unique models that work for you and your specific films and audiences. It takes a lot of conviction to follow through on such a vision of involving the audience, and taking the film to them.”

Storytelling & Narratives in 360 degrees

Coordinator of Interaction and Games Lab, Amsterdam Creative Industries Network Mirjam Vosmeer presented an illuminating presentation on Virtual Reality, and spoke at length about the various aspects of the uncharted territory that are being researched upon.

Moderated by filmmaker and animator Gitanjali Rao, the discussion was interesting as she posed questions from the point of view of a filmmaker, something that many in the audience could relate to.“It is such a different way of telling stories. Besides the fantasy and pleasure aspect of Virtual Reality, it is the empathy that it can induce in the viewer that really fascinates me,” she confessed. “To be able to involve an audience in such an immersive way has a lot of potential, especially for documentary filmmakers.”

The panel discussion on Queen’s Journey & Filming In The Netherlands moderated by media specialist and author Vanita Kohli Khandekar, included Film Commissioner, Nederlands Filmfonds, Bas Van der Reem, Producer Thomas Drijver and Producer of Queen Vivek Bajrang Agrawal. And the panel discussion on VOD as the Key Distribution Platforms for Independent Filmsincluded Founder, The Film Collaborative, Orly Ravid, and CEO, Vista India, Suri Gopalan.

The Film Facilitation Office organized a One-Day Workshop at the forthcoming Film Bazaar with Nodal Officers appointed by various State Governments and Central Government Ministries / Departments / Agencies to act as the one-point contact for easing the process of filming in their respective jurisdiction.

The Workshop included a case study presentation by the State of Gujarat, which won the National Award for the Most Film Friendly State in 2016. It is envisaged that these discussions would motivate and mobilize the Nodal officers from State and Central Governments towards not only easier and timely facilitation of permissions for shooting films in their State, but also undertaking initiatives for a favorable filming environment.

The Rajasthan Tourism Board sponsored the second day lunch at the Film Bazaar 2016.