Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s No Man’s Land was awarded the $16,000 (Rs1m) NFDC Development Award at the close of the Film Bazaar co-production market (Nov 20-24).

Produced by Farooki’s Dhaka-based Chabial, the film is about a member of the Ahmadiyya minority in Pakistan, which is discriminated against by the Sunni majority, and how he struggles with his identity in both his home country and the US.

Meanwhile, Raam Reddy’s Thithi won an award for Digital Intermediate services at Prasad EFX under the ‘Work-in-Progress Feature’ category. Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla’s Proposition For A Revolution took the same award in the Work-in-Progress documentary section.

Film Bazaar also introduced three $16,000 (Rs1m) interest-free repayable loans for projects seeking completion financing in the ‘Film Bazaar Recommends’ section.

Indian filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra extended a $16,000 loan to Shlok Sharma’s Haraamkhor, on behalf of Vinod Chopra Films and Rajkumar Hirani. In addition, local producer and entrepreneur Manish Mundra awarded a $16,000 loans to Rinku Kalsy’s Love Of Man and Arun Karthick’s The Strange Case Of Shiva (Sivapuranam).

Film Bazaar organisers described the gap financing awards as “a new initiative to ensure that while funds are made available to deserving film-makers, they are also responsible for returning the monies”. New awards will only be presented next year, if this year’s recipients repay the loans.

Organised by the National Film Development Corp (NFDC), Film Bazaar enjoyed its busiest ever edition this year, with 1,050 delegates from more than 38 countries.

Among deals announced at the market – German producer Pallas Film boarded Rajesh Jala’s The Spark, which won the Incredible India award last year; and Canada’s Studio Film Group (SFG) International signed on to co-produce Abhijeet Singh Parmar’s Overcoat, which was selected for this year’s Co-production Market.

“The response at the eighth edition of Film Bazaar has been overwhelming,” said NFDC managing director Nina Lath Gupta. “We are truly pleased to see that our endeavour to encourage and showcase the film talent of India and South Asia at a global level, has reached new heights. What started as an idea eight years ago has evolved into a vital annual film event that the film fraternity looks forward to year after year.”