Sunday , 19 May 2019

Nagpur’s French connection

By Michael Fisher | B&C

This year’s IFFI Film Bazaar has not only grown beyond the platform for co-production and business deals, but has also created a new pinnacle for itself, creating twin cities film festivals.Former French actress Marianne Borgo, who has adopted Goa as her second home since the 70s, says The Goa Film Alliance took a bold step last July by successfully organising the twinning of two film festivals – Nasik International Film Festival (NIFF) with France Vittel International Film Festival (VIFF).

The NIFF was set up in the vineyards of Sula with screening of several French movies whose directors and producers put up stalls, while in France the VIFF was set in motion in Les Voges. Both movie fraternities of different foreign cities found it apt for B2B networking and both the festivals were a success.

“It was quite a calculated risk to mix the wine of India with the water of France, but the main theme was to propose Indian films to French audiences; and to assist young directors from both sides of the fence to source funding for their films,” says Borgo.

In France, Indian Ambassador Arun K Singh and cultural attache Apoorva Srivastava did the inauguration with Vittel Mayor Monsieur Jean Jacques Gaultier. Business deals were signed between both the film fraternities to develop each other commercial aspects.

Présidente of Festi Vittel conferred prizes to Indian director Devendra Jaddhav for his film `Gandhi Goes Missing’ and to producer Rishi Bhutani for ‘The Playground’. NIFF president Mukesh Kaneri awarded a prize to French director Gabrielle Brennen for ‘Extravagant India’. Marion is now working on twining Bangalore Film Festival with France Péniche Cinéma Festival. “IFF is too big, but we are in search of a festival in the status of IFF for twining,” she replied to a query.

The result of twining this film festival is the re-opening of Vittel Airport proposed by a well-known and rich Indian Industrial family, which Marion refuses to disclose. The airport has been closed for the past 30 years. NIFF 2015’s 7th festival is scheduled for March 19 – 22, 2015, informed festival director Mukesh Kaneri.

Marianne is at the moment on a non-stop viewing films for her several twinning projects she is planning with the Ville of Beausoleil and Le Cap d’ Agde with Pune and Bangalore Film Festivals. She is assisting her dear friend Gabrielle Brennen who is here in the Film Bazaar with Ramesh Tekanawi to sélect films for the second édition of thé Paris Indian Film festival which will take place in March 2015.

Indian film producers wishing to participate and short of funds will be assisted for their stay and food. They only have to pay for travelling to France and back, says Borgo.

The 2014 IFFI Film Bazaar has not only emerged as South Asia’s major market for film production, it has become a major platform for global film markers as well. The tables were full at the production market hall with some going into four and five hours of discussions.

Till Sunday about 32 projects found 80 per cent funding from prospective investors, one of them was Pakistani director Sabiya Soma for her film ‘The Judgement’. Nikkanth Master, a touching movie and the grit and determination of two women during the struggle of freedom, is a move to see. “We are looking for international distributors and to participate in film festivals,” says one of the directors Riskesh Pathare.

Aries Epica from Sharjah UAE is displaying a prototype model of a TV3D tablet with using glasses. It is probably the first of its kind in the world, says project manager Chitra B Warrier. The company plans to launch it in the first quarter of 2015.  This is the only B2B Film market place in India as a one-stop shop for access to Indian cinema.