Bikas Mishra’s Four Colours took the inaugural Incredible India award at this year’s Film Bazaar (Nov 24-27), while Manjeet Singh’s Mumbai Cha Raja took the Prasad award.
The Incredible India award came with a cash prize of $20,000 (Rs1m), while Prasad will provide all digital intermediate (DI) requirements of the winning film.
“Our intention is to encourage young talent by helping them with their post-production costs, which can be a big chunk of the budget,” said Prasad group vice president – sales, Mukesh K Baijjal, about the award which is also new this year.
Meanwhile, CineMart, which has a partnership with Film Bazaar, also selected four projects that will take part in next year’s Rotterdam Lab – a producers’ training programme organised by CineMart during the Rotterdam film festival. The four projects were Khanjan Kishor Nath’s The Bicycle (Assamese), Haobam Paban Kumar’s The Gun (Manipuri), Manjeet Singh’s Mumbai Cha Raja (Hindi) and Satish Manwar’s What’s Your Religion? (Marathi).
This year’s Film Bazaar was the biggest and busiest yet with almost 500 guests, a strong line-up of projects in four sections, including the Primexchange workshop, and wide international participation. High-profile guests included producer Cedomir Kolar, Fortissimo Films’ Michael J. Werner and Shekhar Kapur, who presented the Incredible India award.
The Screen Producers’ Association of Australia (SPAA) and Canada’s Ontario Media Development Corp (OMDC) and Telefilm Canada had large delegations of producers at the market – most with India-themed projects or projects that are seeking India co-production.
“It’s useful to be here to build relationships and get a sense of the environment – that’s all necessary preliminary work,” said Telefilm Canada’s Sheila de la Varende. “The Indian parallel cinema is really progressing and becoming more mature.”
The five-year-old market is also starting to see an increase in the number of deals initiated, concluded or announced at the event. Below is a round-up of the major deals reported in Screen International’s Film Bazaar dailies:
*Fortissimo Films picked up worldwide rights outside South Asia to Anand Gandhi’s The Ship Of Theseus, which is took part in the Work-in-Progress Lab. Fortissimo will also act as co-producer on the film.
*Germany’s Mogador Films and France’s Eaux Vives Productions announced that they’ve boarded social drama Television, to be directed by Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Farooki, as co-producers. Currently in pre-production for a Jan 2012 start, the project took part in the Co-production Market of Film Bazaar 2010.
*India’s Bombay Berlin Film Productions will co-produce romantic drama Between Our Worlds with Germany’s Film Base Berlin and Pinewood Studio Berlin Film Services. Mumbai-based Bobby Khan Productions is also on board the project to be directed by Brahmanand Siingh next year.
*Mumbai-based Bohra Brothers picked up all Indian rights to Bedabrata Pain’s action drama Chittagong, based on the true story of group of schoolboys who launched a rebellion against the British in the 1930s. The film was showcased in Film Bazaar’s Industry Screenings.
*Germany’s Heimat Film announced that Indian actors Irrfan Khan and Tisca Chopra will star in Anup Singh’s co-production Qissa, which is set to start shooting in India early next year. Heimat is co-producing with Dutch production house Augustus Film, France’s Cine-Sud and India’s National Film Development Corp (NFDC).
*Indian film fund Cinema Capital Venture Fund (CCVF) announced the launch of a production and financing outfit, Waterfront Films, which will focus on independent Indian movies. The venture’s first two projects will be Kaizad Gustad’s R&J (working title) and Shashanka Ghosh’s as-yet-untitled black comedy.
*Sweden’s Hepp Film signed Arfi Lamba to star in Prakash Belawadi’s environmental zombie film The Pollutant, which took part in Film Bazaar’s Co-production Market. Helena Danielsson is producing through her two production outfits – India-based Palak Paneer Film Production and Hepp Film, based in Sweden.
*Durban-based Avalon Group acquired South African theatrical rights to Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, starring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor, from UTV Motion Pictures. Avalon is also close to finalising a deal for UTV’s upcoming titles in 2012.
*Australia’s Seven Seas Films acquired Suman Ghosh’s Nobel Thief, produced by Ashwini Sharma, which screened in Film Bazaar’s Market Recommendations section. The film was also selected as one of the Primexchange projects in 2010.