Industrial Screening offers a non-curated platform for filmmakers
NFDC Film Bazaar’s is back with yet another exciting edition of the Industrial Screening section. Previously, movies like Ankhon Dekhi, Sulemani Keeda, and Katiyabaaz have been screened on this incredible platform that helps filmmakers reach out to their target audience. As NFDC invites filmmakers to book their slots for the 9th edition of their event, the last date for which is November 10, 2015, Pandolin speaks to Manas Malhotra, the Co-Director of Film Bazaar who talks about the various aspects of the Industrial Screening along with the benefits it offers to filmmakers.
How and when did NFDC initiate the Industrial Screening?
Industrial Screening is a part of the Film Bazaar itself. Art has primarily been a curated platform, be it a Screenwriter’s Lab, or Production Launch Lab or Work In Progress Lab. The Industrial Screening on the other hand, was an initiation to create a non-curated platform for filmmakers who want to showcase their films to film festival programmers, distributors for sales, or distribute their films in the international territory. We started this platform primarily for this purpose. To give these screenings a large screen experience, we have converted three rooms in the Marriott into mini theaters.
At what stage did you get involved with the NFDC?
This is my third year as the Co-Director of Film Bazaar. I started in August 2013 and it has been a great journey so far. Witnessing such diverse talent, each year, has truly been a great experience.
Who can participate in the Industrial Screening segment, are there any specifications?
No, there are no particular specifications. Be it a feature film, a documentary or a short film, any filmmakers can participate in the Industrial Screening. There are three screening rooms and we will have around nine screenings a day that will take place over four days. We don’t have restrictions in terms of who can apply or showcase their films.
Can you elaborate on the audience who has access to the screenings?
What happens here is that the audience has to be brought into the theaters. It is not an audience that you can assume is going to come and watch your film. Therefore, in this case, the filmmakers need to reach out to the delegates attending the Film Bazaar and promote their film and really push to get people into the theater. Moreover, the people who are attending or who usually get invited to the screening are international film agents, film festival programmers, buyers, and producers. So, it is a targeted platform in that sense. But like I said, the audience coming in depends upon how excited they are to watch your film and how you promote it.
We also provide a few large notice boards across the venue where people can put up their posters along with their show timings. The daily Industrial Screening schedules are available; we print a market screening catalogue or rather a marker screening pamphlet, which has the schedule of all the four days. People have enough material to know what film is playing when, but because there is so much activity happening around Film Bazaar that filmmakers really need to push the audience aggressively to come into the theaters.
What are the benefits that new filmmakers can hope to receive?
You are reaching a very targeted audience and because you are screening for them there is a possibility of international sales agents coming and picking up your film. There is a possibility of film festival programmers coming and watching your film, liking it and programming it for their festivals. An international distributor could say, “I’ll pick it up for this international territory”. So, yes, those are the kind of benefits that filmmakers can get through the Industrial Screening.
Is the Industrial Screening section genre, theme or language specific?
No, there is nothing like that because as mentioned earlier, this is a non-curated platform. It is basically available on a ‘first come, first serve’ rule. Because we have limited slots, it is open for all filmmakers and any filmmaker is free to take a slot irrespective of the genre or theme. Similarly, language is also not a criteria here, it could be English or any regional language, there are no limitations.
So do you’ll have a script selection process?
No, we don’t select scripts as again, it’s a non-curated segment. Filmmakers buy the slot and come and show their film. The only thing that is important is that they (filmmakers) should be registered as delegates of the Film Bazaar and they need to be present at the Bazaar, but other than there is no selection process as such.
Since it’s non-curated segment, is there a jury in place?
There is no competition and there is no award. The core reason for initiating this Industrial Screening is to reach out to international communities of sales agent, buyers, and programmers. It gives a platform to the filmmakers where they can show their films to an extremely niche audience.
Can you tell us about the entries that you have received so far?
I won’t be able to comment about the entries at this point of time because they start coming in closer to the deadline, so we probably have inquiries coming in right now, but not confirmed films. Since this is a unique platform, people do not know too much about it and tend to get a sense of it before they participate in the programs. And, by platform I don’t only mean the Industrial Screening, but also the larger platform, which is the Film Bazaar. So, people who have previously not been a part of the Bazaar don’t know how the platform functions. They tend to first understand the Bazaar and Screening and then finalize their decision.
Could you throw light on the probable distributors & producers who will be attending the screenings this year?
People attending the screening will depend upon how the filmmakers push their film, but we have a list of about 80 international delegates who have confirmed their presence for the Film Bazaar this year. We have confirmations from Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Vignolia Film Festival. We also have someone coming in from Focus Features in USA. So there is a very strong contingent of delegates that are coming in this year.
What was the response that you initially received and how has it changed over the years?
Film Bazaar started in 2007, but the Industrial Screening was introduced later and like any new concept, it takes time to catch on. Compared to its beginning, the Industrial Screening segment has grabbed more attention in the last few years and every year we have sold out all the slots, so the response has been great.