Cashing in on Creativityhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/cashing-in-on-creativity/

Cashing in on Creativity

NFDC’s Film Bazaar aims to give first-time directors a chance to find investment for their films at IFFI

Lajwanti got a first-time investor last year
Lajwanti got a first-time investor last year

By Express Features service

It Is an unusual marketplace comprising both investors and those pitching for their projects. Combining creativity with business, the second Investors Pitch, organised by the National Films Division Corporation (NFDC) at their Film Bazaar running alongside IFFI 2014, got underway in Goa on Saturday. A concept introduced at the festival last year, the event begins with NFDC showcasing trailers of some of the projects recommended by them to investors. This is followed by the filmmakers making a pitch for funds for either completion or post-production costs. From an intriguingly shot Bokul by Reema Borah to Haramkhor by Shlok Sharma with Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead to Kranti Kanade’s provocative CRD —  a hundred films have entered the fray this year hoping to take their Work-In-Progress Lab projects to completion and final release.

Fiction feature films jostle for space with documentaries to pitch to investors, as well as for the Viewing Room section where investors are encouraged to view a film if they liked the trailer. “While the Viewing Room was initiated four years ago, we introduced the Investors Pitch session last year as we realised most investors do not have the time to watch all the films. Now we recommend about 25 films and let them see the trailers first. Of these 100 films, 58 are incomplete and are looking for gap funding. There are others which are looking for post-production financing,” says Deepti DCunha, film programmer and curator of the event.

According to her, last year’s edition had a success story in Pushpendra Singh’s Lajwanti that got the first-time director a first-time investor. The completed film was screened earlier this year at Berlinale. This is heartening news considering all 100 films at the bazaar are by debutant directors.  Kavita Carneiro is “very hopeful” she will be able to raise some part of the Rs 35 lakh she needs to complete her documentary Maidan, based on rugby, two village boys and their quest to belong. Niharika Popli, who has put together the life of the 106-year-old khayal exponent and poet Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan in her documentary Rasan Piya, is gradually finding her feet at the marketplace.

DCunha rues that there’s rarely any feedback once the festival is over. After filmmakers and investors return home, the organisers of the Film Bazaar don’t know who has connected and collaborated with whom. But then that’s showbiz too.

mumbainewsline@expressindia.com