Rajesh Jala’s The Spark was awarded the $16,000 (Rs1m) Incredible India award at the close of Film Bazaar (Nov 20-24), while Kanu Behl’s Titli took the Prasad Digital Intermediate prize.
The Spark, which was selected for Film Bazaar’s Screenwriters’ Lab, tells the story of a riot victim who has a plan to take revenge, but is indecisive about taking action. Jala previously directed award-winning documentary Children Of The Pyre.
Produced by Dibakar Banerjee with backing from Yash Raj Films, Titli revolves around the volatile relationship between two brothers. Currently in post-production, the film was selected for Film Bazaar’s Work-in-Progress Lab. Behl has worked as assistant and co-writer on Banerjee’s previous features.
More than 950 delegates from 35 countries attended this year’s Film Bazaar, compared to 712 from 32 countries in 2012. International visitors included four Cannes heavyweights – Thierry Fremaux, Christian Jeune, Critics Week’s Charles Tesson and Directors’ Fortnight’s Edouard Waintrop – along with delegations from Screen Australia and the Polish Film Commission
Indian delegates and speakers included Excel Entertainment’s Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, Colors CEO Raj Nayak and filmmaker Dev Benegal.
Among deals announced at the market, BGP picked up India’s foreign-language submission The Good Road, which it will represent for sales to the US, while France’s ASAP Films boarded The Spark as producer.
Channel 4 announced that is has acquired four previous Film Bazaar titles – The Good Road, Sulemani Keeda, Fandry and B.A. Pass.
Several co-production deals were also announced – Steve Barron’s UK-based Riley Productions is co-producing Q’s Brahman Naman with the director’s Kolkata-based Overdose Joint, while Abhay Deol’s i.e. Films is working with Colin Burrows’ UK-based Special Treats on thriller Bounty Hunter.
In addition, Indian production houses DAR Motion Pictures, IME Motion Pictures and Nikhil Mahajan’s Blue Drop Films will co-produce Marathi action adventure Baji, starring Shreyas Talpade.
Several updates on previous Film Bazaar projects were also announced such as Kartikeya Narayan Singh’s The Film Café boarding Vasant Nath’s Sebastian Wants To Remember, which has also secured EU Media Development funding, while Gurvinder Singh’s The Fourth Direction is moving towards production with funding from France’s CNC.
Remakes were also a hot topic at Film Bazaar with Fox Star Studios revealing details of City Lights, a Hindi-language remake of Metro Manila, as well as acquiring Hindi remake rights to Kannada-language drama Lucia.
Germany’s Primehouse, which runs the Primexchange workshop at Film Bazaar, also announced the launch of boutique remakes agency Primesales, in partnership with media consultant Dina Dittani.