Film Bazaar 2017 in Goa: A microcosm of the movie business, and haven for cinema lovers

Rupleena Bose

Nov 24, 2017 11:51:49 IST

The Film Bazaar (held in Goa from 20 to 24 November) is a bit like the microcosm of the film world.

A National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) enterprise, The Bazaar, as it is mostly called, is a marketplace (or sorts) where films in various stages of development seek their perfect home among directors, producers, distributors, sales agents or festival programmers.

The Film Bazaar, over the last decade, has established a reputation for being a place where new voices are formed, films are realised and connections are renewed. But does that mean the most radical voices in cinema are continuously being honed in India?

 Film Bazaar 2017 in Goa: A microcosm of the movie business, and haven for cinema lovers

Image courtesy Facebook: @NFDCIndia

Cameron Bailey, Festival Director of Toronto Film Festival, is probably someone who knows and has seen the wide range of India cinema more that most Indians. Bailey wonders if the winds of commerce that blow hard and strong in a country like India is slowly taming the most radical voices and independent styles. Rima Das’s Village Rockstars programmed at the Toronto Film festival this year was the result of the Viewing Room section from the Film Bazaar a couple of years back. That’s where the triumph of the Bazaar is; where every year there are people who leave behind the apprehensions that surround the lonely uphill struggle of a filmmaker and merge in the competition and the community created by the Film Bazaar.

Akshay Indikar is one of the five directors whose projects are a part of the Work in Progress lab this year. His first time at the Bazaar, Aranya (Forest) is a part of the Work in Progress Lab, a segment which selects 5 films at the rough-cut stage. Over the four days of the Bazaar, five directors and their films undergo extensive mentoring and honing. The lonely passion of a filmmaker, working against odds throughout the year, dissolves into a pursuit of hope and realisation.

Just like cinema brings to us stories and people we would have otherwise never met in modern societies, the Bazaar too gets together people bound by endless passion of making cinema and their unique journey, much like Indikar’s. "I come from a folk tradition, my family carries the Gondhli tradition in Maharashtra and it is only the last two generations who have houses. Traditionally we have been nomadic community," he informs.

His film is about migration and everything that is lost in the process. I ask him what drove him to make films, and his answer comes without a thought — it was a moment etched in his memory. As a young high school student living in Pune, separated from his village and lonely in the city, Akshay decided to go to National Film Archives to watch a film. The film they were showing that day happened to be Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali and for the young student a universe of possibilities opened, a world of city and the village and the divide that lay between. And just like that a filmmaker was born.

It is a story which most of us may not know about, but within the energy of the Bazaar, it is a story that stays with you and gives you a sense of the power of cinema and the journey of a storyteller.

But the Bazaar is not just about filmmakers. It is also about spaces, and far-flung towns. Farooq Khan, Administrator of Union Territory of Lakshadweep, is in Film Bazaar for a different reason. To remind the film fraternity that the most beautiful land of ocean, light and corals lie across the islands of Lakshadweep. And he is here with the Film Federation Office with the simple objective, to encourage filmmakers to not just use Lakshadweep as a location for shoots but to look the unique life and culture of the place as a setting for a story.

A short conversation with Farooq Khan made me look at the way the Bazaar draws people from diverse places. And they all believe one thing: Cinema is larger than life, or perhaps life itself.

Updated Date: Nov 24, 2017 11:55:29 IST