The market ran alongside the Mumbai Film Festival which kicked off October 17 with a screening of The Butler.

The third edition of the Mumbai Film Mart (MFM) wrapped on Sunday following more than 2,000 meetings involving 80 independent film projects.

Around 200 delegates took part in the three-day event (Oct 18-20) at the Taj Vivanta in south Mumbai. While space for booths was limited, all the leading Indian studios and government organisations were present at the bustling market, including Eros, Reliance, UTV, Viacom18, Yash Raj Films and the National Film Development Corp (NFDC).  

Buyers included Japan’s Nikkatsu and Toho, France’s ASAP Films, Novo Films and Happiness Distribution, Germany’s Rapid Eye, Taiwan’s Encore Films, Hong Kong’s Edko Films and Middle East exhibitor VOX Cinemas. The market also hosted a delegation of Spanish producers seeking co-production opportunities in partnership with Spain’s ICAA.

“We had a smaller space than last year but more people,” said MFM manager Rashmi Lamba. “We also had more international interest in the run-up to the market – companies like VOX approached us and said they are looking for content beyond Bollywood.”

She added that several deals are in the pipeline as a result of market meetings. Deals from previous editions of MFM include the sale of Reliance’s 3 Idiots to Japan’s Nikkatsu. The film was released in Japan this July and has so far grossed around $1m.

Speaking on the sidelines of the market, Amit Khanna, former Reliance Entertainment chairman and a trustee for MAMI which organises the Mumbai film festival and market, said one of the aims of the event is to help Indian filmmakers and producers learn how to use film markets effectively. “Mumbai Film Mart has become an important networking event for buyers, sellers and filmmakers. It will only grow bigger and better,” he said.

New initiatives included work-in-progress screenings through the India Project Room (IPR); DVD screenings in The Filmy Room; and Books2Screen round table discussions. IPR screened six projects for buyers and festival programmers including Phantom Films’ Hunterrrr and Sikhya Entertainment’s Haraamkhor.

The market took place alongside the Mumbai Film Festival, which kicked off on October 17 with a screening of The Butler and the presentation of lifetime achievement awards to Costa Gavras and Indian star Kamal Haasan.

Events over the weekend have included a screening with live music of Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail in the Restored Classics section; sessions with Costa Gavras and French filmmaker Leos Carax in conversation; and panels on film festival strategy, distribution of indie films and Marathi cinema.

The festival also hosted master classes by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on issues such as 3D filmmaking and the challenges of film restoration in the digital age. Speakers included Disney’s head of stereoscopic department Robert Neuman and the Academy’s Milt Shefter and Andy Maltz.

The festival’s closing ceremony takes place on October 24 with a screening of The Fifth Estate.