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What’s India Looking for at European Film Market

admin   February 3, 2022

The virtual India Pavilion at Berlinale’s European Film Market (February 10-17) will provide Indian delegates (filmmakers, content owners, service providers) with an opportunity to meet and conduct business with leading members of the global film fraternity thus creating a global footprint for Indian Cinema.

Bracing mid-pandemic environments, global film industry representatives are looking forward for better times in the months ahead of 2022. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, in association with Confederation of Indian Industry, is participating in the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival and European Film Market, to project Indian cinema, facilitate syndication, market Indian films, shooting locales and film services in India. India Pavilion is already listed in the online European Film Market website (http://www.europeanfilmmarket.com) and you can request for meetings during EFM.

The 2022 edition of the European Film Market will take the form of an online market, providing a marketplace for film production sales and serves as one of the industry’s most important platforms for international sales agents, distribution companies, festival programmers and producers. The 72nd Berlin Film Festival will take place in physical format (for the sections Competition, Berlinale Special, Encounters, Panorama, Forum, Forum Expanded, Generation…)

India at EFM 2022

The objective behind India’s participation at European Film Market is to promote Indian films across linguistic, cultural and regional diversity so as to forge an increasing number of international partnerships in the realms of distribution, production, filming in India, script development and technology, thereby accelerating the growth of the film sector in India. The focus is to facilitate meetings between various stakeholders, production services and promote filming in India to the global producers.

In addition to the interactive sessions and select film screenings, the India spotlight at Berlinale will celebrate the best works of legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray as part of his centenary year and screen few of Ray’s films to EFM delegates.

Some of the focus of the India participation at EFM would include — Co-Production Treaties, partnerships and invite global delegates for the 53rd edition of IFFI (November 20-28, 2022), ease of shooting films in India through Film Facilitation Office (FFO), that facilitates Single Window Clearance for filmmakers and provides the platform for ‘film tourism’ in India.

Presentation of market exhibitors

Once again, participants from all over the world will attend the EFM in Online platform. Global sales companies present their current film lineups and their upcoming films. Promotion agencies advertise films and talents from their countries, institutions provide information on funding options, and film commissions bring shooting locations and infrastructure into focus. These exhibitors will also be central to the digital market format. Market visitors receive access to the Participants Guide, digital newsstand (India focused Pickle Berlinale/EFM edition will be part of the digital newsstand) and the digital booths that contain the companies’ programme and events, and can make contact with the exhibitors. Exhibitors can use their preferred video conference systems for meetings.

EFM Industry Sessions: Comprehensive conference programme and EFM podcast

In addition, this year the market will also include a comprehensive conference programme: This will take place online on the EFM website (http://www.efm-berlinale.de) on all seven days of the market as a cooperative programme by Berlinale Series Market, EFM Industry Sessions — Shaping Change, Diversity & Inclusion, Sustainable Development and discuss the most pressing questions of the Future.

The Industry Sessions are thematically aimed at all representatives of the groups and sectors already established at the EFM: producers, distribution, documentary and series. The Sessions will dive deeper into relevant topics creating cutting-edge and interactive talk formats, workshops, matchmaking events and other networking opportunities all online within more than 70 events. Various networking formats will provide opportunities for targeted initiation of new business contacts. Some of the live streams will be accessible on demand after taking place.

The EFM podcast 2022 will reflect on one of the most urgent issues of our time: social sustainability in the film, TV and media landscape – with a specific focus on diversity & inclusion. “We will hear from hands-on activities and actions, new impulses and pathways. In addition, the second season wants to shine a light on the pressing question of how to foster a resilient industry, creating the necessary framework for a healthy life balance, reorganization, education and rethinking of the modus operandi that has already lasted for a long time in the film and creative industries,” says the EFM website.

EFM Startups

The eighth edition of EFM Startups will present innovative, international entrepreneurs working in the area of production, development and distribution in the film and audio-visual media industries at the online EFM 2022. The companies selected to participate in EFM Startups were carefully curated to showcase new ideas in the intersection between media and technology – be it in development, production, distribution or marketing – which are essential to the industry’s survival and future growth in a rapidly changing landscape.

Twelve companies participating in the EFM Startups 2022, will be invited to pitch their Startup to an audience of producers, programmers, financiers, sales agents and distributors; virtually attend a series of matched 1:1 with producers and other industry professionals and take part in selected EFM online market screenings and events.


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And the Sundance Awards go to…

admin   January 30, 2022

The 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s Awards were announced after nine days featuring 84 films and 59 short films, the juries have deliberated and the audience has voted.

The 26 jury-awarded and six audience-awarded prizes recognize achievement in global independent storytelling. Bold, intimate, and culture shifting stories prevailed across categories, with Grand Jury Prizes awarded to Nanny (U.S. Dramatic), The Exiles (U.S. Documentary), Utama (World Cinema Dramatic), and All That Breathes (World Cinema Documentary). Audience Awards were presented to Navalny (U.S. Documentary), Cha Cha Real Smooth (U.S. Dramatic), Girl Picture (World Cinema Dramatic), The Territory (World Cinema Documentary), Framing Agnes (NEXT), with Navalny winning the Festival Favorite Award.

Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente said, “The awards represent the determination of visionary individuals, whose dynamic work will continue to change the culture and create discourse throughout the year.”

Vincente added: “This year’s entire program has proven that no matter the context, independent storytelling remains a pivotal tool in expanding critical dialogues, and these stories will and must be shared.”

According to Sundance Film Festival Director Tabitha Jackson, “the 2022 Sundance Film Festival once again met our audience wherever they happened to be. Whether you watched from home or one of our seven satellite screens, this year’s Festival expressed a powerful convergence; we were present, together, as a community connected through the work. And it is work that has already changed those who experienced it.”

Festival’s Director of Programming Kim Yutani said, “We are so grateful for this year’s jurors who brought their expertise and passion to their decision-making process. We congratulate the award winners and we’re so thankful to each and every film in the program that made the 2022 Sundance Film Festival such a huge success.”

The awards announcement marks a key point of the 2022 Festival, where 84 feature-length and 59 short films — selected from 14,849 submissions — were showcased online via the Festival’s online platform; a selection of the program will play at 7 Satellite Screen locations across the United States, starting tonight.

Here’s the full list of Sundance Film Festival 2022 winners

FESTIVAL FAVORITE AWARD

Navalny
Director: Daniel Roher

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Audience Award

Cha Cha Real Smooth
Director-Writer: Cooper Raiff

Grand Jury Award

Nanny
Director-Writer: Nikyatu Jusu

Directing

Jamie Dack
Palm Trees and Power Lines

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award

K.D. Dávila
Emergency

Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast

John Boyega, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, London Covington and Michael K Williams
892

Special Jury Award: Uncompromising Artistic Vision

Bradley Rust Gray
blood

U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Audience Award

Navalny
Director: Daniel Roher

Grand Jury Prize

The Exiles (U.S.)
Directors: Ben Klein, Violet Columbus

Directing

Reid Davenport
I Didn’t See You There

Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award

Erin Casper and Jocelyne Chaput
Fire Of Love

Special Jury Award: Impact for Change

Aftershock
Directors: Paula Eiselt, Tonya Lewis Lee

Special Jury Award: Creative Vision

Descendant
Director: Margaret Brown

WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Audience Award

The Territory (Brazil/Denmark/U.S.)

Grand Jury Prize

All That Breathes (India/UK)
Director: Shaunak Sen

Directing

Simon Lereng Wilmont
A House Made Of Splinters (Denmark)

Special Jury Award: Documentary Craft

The Territory (Brazil/Denmark/U.S.)
Director: Alex Pritz

Special Jury Award: Excellence In Verité Filmmaking

Midwives (Myanmar)
Director: Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing

WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Audience Award

Girl Picture (Finland)
Director: Alli Haapasalo

Grand Jury Prize

Utama (Bolvia/Uruguay/France)
Director-Writer: Alejandro Loayza Grisi

Directing

Maryna Er Gorbach
Klondike (Ukraine/Turkey)

Special Jury Award: Innovative Spirit

Leonor Will Never Die (Philippines)
Director-Writer: Martika Ramirez Escobar

Special Jury Award: Acting

Teresa Sánchez
Dos Estaciones (Mexico)

NEXT

Audience Award

Framing Agnes (Canada/U.S.)
Director: Chase Joynt

SHORT FILMS AWARDS

Grand Jury Prize

The Headhunter’s Daughter (Philippines)
Director-Writer: Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan

Jury Award: U.S. Fiction

If I Go Will They Miss Me (U.S.)
Director-writer: Walter Thompson-Hernández

Jury Award: International Fiction

Warsha (France/Lebanon)
Director-writer: Dania Bdeir

Jury Award: Nonfiction

Displaced (Kosovo)
Director-writer: Samir Karahoda

Jury Award: Animation

Night Bus (Taiwan)
Director-writer: Joe Hsieh

Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast

Zélia Duncan, Bruna Linzmeyer, Camila Rocha, Clarissa Ribeiro and Lorre Motta
A wild patience has taken me here (Brazil)
Director-writer: Érica Sarmet

Special Jury Award: Screenwriting

Sara Driver
Stranger Than Rotterdam with Sara Driver (U.S.)
Directors: Lewie Kloster, Noah Kloster; Writer: Sara Driver

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize

After Yang

Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Award for Nonfiction

Su Kim, Free Chol Soo Lee (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Award for Fiction

Amanda Marshall, God’s Country (Premieres)

Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Nonfiction

Toby Shimin

Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Fiction

Dody Dorn

Sundance Institute | NHK Award

Hasan Hadi, The President’s Cake


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Time to Plan for Reimagined 2022 NAB SHOW Experience

admin   January 11, 2022

NAB Show SVP of Business Development Eric Trabb shares his perspective on the reimagined NAB Show experience and what you can expect on the show floor in 2022.  The 2022 NAB SHOW is slated for April 23–27 in Las Vegas

NAB Show has been working on a reimagined experience for the 2022 show in Las Vegas. What will this mean for show attendees? 

Ultimately, it means that whether you’re a broadcaster, cinematographer, streamer or podcaster — really anyone involved in creating content, connecting with audiences or capitalizing on that content through monetization — you can find all the tools you need to do your work, all at the 2022 NAB Show. You can make the most of your time and get more out of the experience too. 

Because the new event design is built around real-world applications and workflows, you can easily navigate your way to the right solution, the right vendor, the right contact. You’ll also discover, right on the show floor, experience zones that bring products, technologies and workflows to life. Focusing on inspiration, innovation and implementation, these zones will give you a clearer sense of the big picture, new directions and opportunities within the industry, and the tools and technologies you can use to move ahead, whether with a new project or a new phase in your career. 

Walk onto the show floor, and you’ll find we’ve curated the journey for you. The show is organized around three pillars of the content life cycle — Create, Connect and Capitalize — and the Inspiration, Innovation and Implementation experience zones within each of those areas. We’ve added complementary activities and resources that align with each pillar, making it easier for you to learn in your interest area, to network with like-minded people and to find the new products you need. 

Why overhaul the long-familiar NAB Show model, and why now? 

Rapid, ongoing change — and particularly convergence across different areas of the media industry — over recent years has transformed the way media is created, managed, distributed, consumed and monetized. We’ve seen this change happening. We’ve also spent a lot of time seeking input from attendees and exhibitors from various communities about their needs and how the NAB Show can better facilitate networking, discovery and education. 

The old model, with a radio hall, a broadcast hall, a film hall and so on, simply doesn’t apply to today’s media ecosystem. Building on expertise gained over decades producing a vital industry trade show and on extensive feedback gathered over the past year and a half, the reimagined 2022 NAB Show offers a new and different experience. That’s going to be true whether you’ve been attending for 25 years or you’re going to your very first show. 

The reimagined NAB Show experience accounts for the fact that we live and work in a cross-platform world. High-end professional products and technologies previously within reach only for larger companies have become more accessible to smaller businesses, and those tools are no longer confined to different silos within the industry. The 2022 NAB Show design makes it easier for exhibitors to showcase their innovations and recent product development for this much broader audience. Attendees will find it easier to find and learn about tools and solutions that support their work. 

Given all this change, who should attend the 2022 NAB Show and why? 

The 2022 NAB Show is unique in addressing the full scope of the modern media industry while also guiding attendees towards the tools and expertise appropriate to their niche within that industry. 

If you’re someone who started up a podcast during the pandemic or built-up a following on Instagram, YouTube or TikTok, the show will not only help you find that camera or mic you’ve been needing, but also help you to see future possibilities for your work and your career. Maybe you know media is your future. Or maybe you’re not sure. The 2022 NAB Show is the perfect place to explore your options. You can delve into educational and inspirational programs in your interest area, or stop by a social event to exchange ideas with other people working in the same space. So often, meetings at the show lead to lifelong connections with colleagues — and a larger professional network — that help catapult a small business toward further success. 

If you’re a longtime NAB Show attendee with an extensive history in broadcast or film, the 2022 NAB Show gives you the opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues, to see the latest best-in-class products implemented as part of modern, real-world workflows, and to learn more about what industry convergence means for you and your business. 

In fact, the 2022 NAB Show will feature a brand-new showcase dedicated to one of the most notable areas of change across the media industry. The new Intelligent Content showcase will explore the ways in which data, artificial intelligence, and automation are influencing the full content life cycle, from the way content is created and managed to the manner in which it is delivered, consumed and monetized.  

The 2022 NAB Show is where you’ll find the people, technologies and inspiration that will help your business adapt and thrive going forward, and it delivers these benefits within a much richer experience — one tailored to provide fresh opportunities for learning, discovery and engagement. 

If I’m an exhibitor at the 2022 NAB Show, how does the new approach benefit me? 

One of the biggest changes in 2022 is that we’re really bringing the applications and action to the show floor. In creating this experience, we make it easier for attendees to lock onto the workflows and solutions of interest to them. At the same time, we’re delivering real, measurable value for exhibitors. We’re helping to drive the right person to their booth so that there is alignment on both sides. We’re also expanding the ways in which exhibitors can showcase their products and technologies. 

Through the experiential zones associated with each content life cycle pillar — Create, Connect and Capitalize — exhibitors gain added opportunity to highlight their solutions. While exhibitors might take advantage of the “Inspiration” theater within their pillar area to demonstrate a new innovation or present a case study, they can also reach beyond their core area with a presentation, networking event or other educational program in the Inspiration, Innovation or Implementation zone of another pillar area. This is a great way to feature a new or expanded use case for established solutions — and to boost overall awareness of your brand and product offering in the process. 

Any words of advice for first-time attendees? 

You don’t have to be an NAB Show alum, or even consider yourself part of the media industry, to go to the 2022 NAB Show and find valuable information, contacts and solutions. If you’re even thinking about coming into the industry, it’s a fantastic resource. In past years the whole experience might have been a bit overwhelming. When you go to the 2022 NAB Show, though, you can let your interests and curiosity be your guide. And, if you’re a content creator of any kind, you’re already part of the NAB Show community. 


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Jonathan Wolf

Optimism Rules at American Film Market 2021

admin   November 2, 2021

Amidst the challenges posed by the global pandemic over the past two years, the American Film Market will be going virtual from November 1 to 5 on its proprietary interactive campus AFM 2021 Online which was built in 2020 for the second year in a row. As the opening of the last major global film industry event on the 2021 calendar, which is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance kicked off on a bright note, Jonathan Wolf, Managing Director, American Film Market, tells Vivek Ratnakar and Natarajan Vidyasagar, Pickle in detail about major challenges and what participants can look forward to in this edition.

The American Film Market is being organized online second year in a row. How has been the response and what can participants expect from this edition?

The AFM virtual platform will be presenting an engaging and effective environment for discovery, education, deal making, networking and reconnecting. More than 300 production and sales companies, as well as international trade organizations from 25+ countries have already registered as exhibitors for the market.  AFM will also bring its distinguished Conferences and educational programming back online with two stages running simultaneously and featuring more than 50 live sessions exploring film topics from script to screen. The sessions will also be made available the same day on-demand for attendees to stream at their convenience. 

Over 150 industry professionals and decision makers will participate in AFM 2021 Online’s programming lineup.  Over five days, 7,000+ professionals from 70+ countries will access the entire global catalogue of available films and projects, attend world class conferences, and connect with decision makers.

What are the new features added in this year’s edition?

As far as new session highlights are concerned, AFM 2021 Online will feature a story analyst’s approach to screenwriting, focus on Animation as a growing territory for independents, and sessions like Black Filmmakers at the Crossroads to Success (presented in partnership with AAFCA), Bridging the Production Insurance Gap, The Casting Effect: How Talent Choices Impact Every Phase of Production, International Film Market: Consumption of Black Culture, Rejection of Black Stories (presented in partnership with NAACP)and New Perspective on Horror.

In addition, AFM has announced its lineup of eight Premiere Sponsors.  The sponsors, each of which will present a dedicated location on the AFM 2021 Online campus, include Apojo Publications, Entertainment Partners, Filmhub, Honolulu Film Office, JAPAN/JETRO, Media Services Payroll, Polish Film Institute, and Whip Media.

How will you make sure that the virtual platform would serve AFM’s diverse constituency?

The AFM is the most efficient film acquisition, development and networking event in the world. Over US$1 billion in production and distribution deals are closed every year — on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production. The pivot to online would allow for all stakeholders around the world to participate in the market. It offers a good opportunity for people to explore different ways of accessing people. Only about a third of AFM’s participants are buying and selling. The other two-thirds are part of the production community. There are producers, writers, film commissions, lawyers, bankers, sales agents and those who provide production facilities. So, the platform was created so as to make sure that we could serve that diverse constituency.

AFM map

AFM is known for handholding and supporting global independent film makers. What can they expect to gain from this virtual edition?

The global film industry has set aside this week (November 9-13) to connect for deal making, presentations, and education, and to gather marketplace intel from one another.  AFM’s engaging online experience, with the types of serendipitous meetings that happen organically in the halls, hotels and parties each year in Santa Monica, will keep everyone in touch and ensure that independent film continues to reach audiences around the world.

AFM 2021 Online will commence with the opening session – The Independent Film Ecosphere – Present and Future, featuring Liesl Copland, EVP, Content and Platform Strategy, Participant, Jonathan Kier, Co-President, Upgrade Productions, Brian O’Shea, CEO, The Exchange, Julia Weber, Head of International Sales & Acquisitions, Global Screen – A TELEPOOL Brand, and moderated by Stephen Galloway, Dean of Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

Tell us about major challenges that the global pandemic has posed for independents and how does AFM plan to help them reconnect?

The challenges posed by streaming platforms, exacerbated by the global pandemic over the past two years, have been formidable for independents. However, despite the tumult of paradigm-shifting moves by monolithic media corporations, the ingenuity and experience of independent buyers, sellers, producers and financiers of all sizes has, by and large, enabled them to survive.

AFM 2020 showed us that how a crisis can be converted into an opportunity. At a time when the world is gripped by Covid-19 pandemic, American Film Market was conducted in a successful manner by taking the virtual route. AFM firmly believes that for the resilient independents who are willing to look for the best talent and scripts and find innovative ways to attract actors and directors, human connection is critical, even if that means meeting people virtually thousands of miles apart on a laptop.

AFM 2021 is being organized at a time when there is still uncertainty about when theaters around the world will open. How will you address this challenge?

We are optimistic that theaters will be open around the world by at least mid-summer. A lot of the business that’s done at the AFM is done on films that haven’t started shooting yet. So the business is really about films for a year from now. And so I expect to see a lot of business taking place.


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International Film Festival of India

IFFI Invites for a Gala Show in Goa

admin   September 12, 2021

Committed to continue spreading the Joy of Cinema, the 52nd edition of International Film Festival of India invites delegates participating in Toronto Film Festival from all over the world    

The 52nd edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), slated to be held in a hybrid format from 20 to 28 November 2021 in Goa, looks all set to offer enthralling experience to delegates who are expected to join its physical as well as virtual segments showcasing 300+ screenings during the festival days.

Extending a warm welcome to delegates participating in Toronto Film Festival, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur took to his Twitter handle recently and invited filmmakers and film enthusiasts from around the globe to be a part of IFFI in Goa.”Calling out to Filmbuffs! Delegate registration for 52nd edition of IFFI is now open! Inviting filmmakers and film enthusiasts from around the world to be a part of IFFI in Goa,” tweeted.

Among the many highlights and innovations planned during 52nd IFFI include a parallel fest dedicated to the cinema from BRICS member countries and screening of some of the best works of legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray as part of his centenary celebrations.

“BRICS film festival to be organised along with the 52nd International Film Festival of India in Goa in November this year will be an opportunity to interact and share the best of cinema,” said Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra.

This year, the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award has been added to the list of awards conferred upon filmmakers from across the globe to recognise their contributions to world cinema. Lifetime Achievement Award was already there and it has now been renamed after the legendary filmmaker to mark his centenary. Indian Film Personality of the Year Award, Centenary Award for best debut film of a Director, and ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Award are the names of some of the other awards, besides the Awards for International Competition that will be given away to deserving filmmakers.

A special webpage has been set up where works of Ray and different aspects of filmmaking by the maestro have been put together. As far as restoration of Ray’s films is concerned, the Directorate of Film Festivals has collaborated with people who have restored the master filmmaker’s works that would be showcased at the festival.
So far, the Directorate has received 622 films from 95 countries and selections will be unveiled shortly. This year, IFFI will feature at least 16 sections including International Competition, Festival Kaleidoscope, World Panorama, Retrospective of Masters, Country Focus, Retrospective of Lifetime Achievement Awardee, Indian Panorama among others.

To allay fears regarding spread of COVID-19 during the festival, Chaitanya Prasad, Additional Director General, Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and Festival Director of  IFFI had earlier said that IFFI team would ensure that “every guest who comes to India becomes IFFI’s responsibility the moment he steps on the Indian soil”.  

“We had created systems last year, and there is no cause of worry if International participants are landing at airports in cities like Kolkata, Mumbai or Delhi. There we have appointed teams to look after them because it is our responsibility that guests come to India hassle free, enjoy the flavor of IFFI and go back contented and satisfied,” he added.

IFFI’s theme has been “Joy of Cinema”, which is something that overrides any firewall, as the creative construct of IFFI is wired to get the best of cinema from across the world.

The preparations for the 52nd edition of the IFFI have begun in full swing and some big names in the world cinema are expected to be part of it. Being planned as a hybrid event due to Covid-19, the festival would screen films on its official digital platform along with the theatrical screenings in Goa, which is subject to the prevailing conditions.

Asia’s oldest event of its kind, IFFI still holds on to its pre-eminent position as a showcase of cinematic excellence. It has over the years witnessed numerous alterations in character, nomenclature, location, dates and duration. Through it all, it has remained steadfast in its emphasis on showcasing the diversity of Indian cinema as well as in its commitment to the celebration of excellence across moviemaking genres.

Over the past two and a half decades, several other international film festivals have sprung up across India, notably in Kolkata, Kerala and Mumbai, and they all contribute meaningfully to the collective task of taking quality cinema to people weaned principally on a staple diet of star-driven, song and dance extravaganzas. But IFFI continues to retain its preeminent position owing to its size, scope and vintage.

Not just in the Indian context but also in relation to the other major Asian film festivals, IFFI matters. And this is despite all the inevitable ups and downs that it has seen over the years.

All the other major Asian festivals – Tokyo, Busan and Shanghai – are of far more recent origin and therefore lack the history that is associated with IFFI. IFFI hands out prize money to the tune of US$ 200,000. The winner of the Golden Peacock for the best film takes home $80,000. That apart, the best director and the Special Jury Prize winner bag $30,000 each, while the two acting prizes come with a cash component of $20,000 each.

The moves to push IFFI up a few notches have unfolded since the coastal state of Goa became its permanent venue in 2004. IFFI now has a far more settled feel than ever before, with each improvement in terms of infrastructure and programming initiatives adding value to both the event and the location.

On the programming side, IFFI not only unveils the best films from around the multilingual country with the aim of providing a glimpse of the sheer range and dynamism of Indian cinema, it also puts together a remarkable slate of brand new world cinema titles.

IFFI also hosts many retrospectives, tributes, master classes and special sections, which enhance the variety and depth of the event. The master classes have emerged as a highlight of the festival, especially for film school students who converge in Goa during the ten-day event.

52nd IFFI Highlights

• IFFI will showcase around 300+ screenings during festival days
• IFFI will have various sections ranging from World Panorama, where films from across the world will be showcased, to Festival Kaleidoscope, International, Debut and ICFT Competition sections, retrospectives, homage, special screenings.
• This edition will also have Master Frames (focusing on renowned cinematographers across the world), Masters of Cinema (focusing on master filmmakers across the world), sports section, Bharat ka Amrit Mahotsav, focus on cinema from BRICS countries, Soul of Asia (focusing on the films of  Asia) as major highlights of the festival.
• IFFI will have its own virtual platform for delegates to sit back and enjoy the festival from their living rooms. The virtual platform will provide access to registered delegates to watch all the films on the platform at any given time as per their convenience, they can also access live streaming of Masterclasses and In-Conversation sessions, workshops and special events during the festival days.
• The live streaming of opening and closing ceremony can also be watched from home on virtual platform as also on social media platforms.


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Filming in India

Seamless Filming now a Reality in India

admin   September 9, 2021

In an effort to reach out to the filming fraternity across the globe, the FFO website http://www.ffo.gov.in has made the single window clearance for filming in India a reality. It helps international and domestic producers cut through the permission process required to shoot films in India.

Laying a red carpet for global producers and studios as part of its mandate to promote India as a filming destination, the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) has set up a web portal, http://www.ffo.gov.in, which provides all filming related information on a single platform.

Having been set up as a single window clearance system for granting mandatory filming permissions from Central and State governments, the portal also lists out all important guidelines and advisories for both international and Indian filmmakers. Whether it is accessing information related to filming, or understanding the processes of international arrivals, visa issuance, or application for quarantine exemption request, it’s all easily accessible to filmmakers at the click of a button.

Applying online for filming in India through the portal is an absolute breeze. Once a filmmaker applies through the portal, there is an automatic transmission of information to all the nodal agencies. The web portal has information regarding the Nodal officers of all Indian States and Union Territories, along with their filming policies and guidelines. Besides enabling online submission of applications for filmmakers, the portal also enlists India’s co-production treaties.

It disseminates information on India’s various shooting locations across all the States (each location having detailed information relevant to that particular location) and lists facilities available with the Indian film industry for postproduction, animation and VFX.

The layout of the website has been kept simple with all information neatly organised under each subhead. For example, if you are an international filmmaker, production house or a domestic filmmaker seeking permissions for shooting there are separate step-by-step guidelines under Permissions tab, which also has online application, and guidelines about aerial filming, filming with animals, application for filming visa and temporary import of filming equipment.

Applying through the FFO portal has never been easier. It requires the applicant to sign up with self-generated username and password to create an account, and start an incredible journey on one of the most user-friendly websites anywhere in the world for obtaining filming permissions with FFO by their side at every step of the way to guide them through all the nitty-gritty associated with filming in India.

The website also allows registration of local representatives or line producers of foreign productions in order to carry out recce of shooting locales.

After completing the registration process by uploading all documents in digital format, such as, detailed script, synopsis or concept, passport details of the crew, details of shooting locations in India and the period of shooting, etc, a nominal application processing fee is required to be submitted to start a one-on-one relationship with nodal officers of various government departments and agencies to help filmmakers realize their celluloid dreams.

The FFO, which became operational in 2016, has since assisted several international and domestic productions to complete their projects (Feature Films, Reality TV shows and/or Commercial TV Serials) in India. The portal bears a testimony to its proactive approach towards strengthening filming ecosystem in India by helping filmmakers link with shooting locations as well as the talent, resources and facilities available within the Indian Film industry for production and post-production. Rest assured you are in good hands.


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A Contest of Heavyweights

admin   July 5, 2021

Expect a keen tussle for the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize this year because it is, for the most part, likely to be a battle of equals, but do keep an eye on the surprises that the Un certain regard section is bound to spring

By Saibal Chatterjee

Three previous Palme d’Or winners – Jacques Audiard, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Nanni Moretti – are among the 24 directors vying for the top prize at the 74th Cannes Film Festival. Important as that bit of information is, it isn’t the big news. The big news is that one-third of this year’s Palme d’Or contenders – eight of the 24 – are films that were wrapped up last year.

What does that tell us? It is safe to assume that these filmmakers chose to opt out of the Cannes 2020 selection (or sit out other festivals held post-May) so as to be able to bring their films physically to Cannes this year and compete.

The eight 2020 productions in Competition are Weerasethakul’s Colombia-set Tilda Swinton and Jeanne Balibar starrer Memoria, Kirill Serebrennikov’s Petrov’s Flu, Nanni Moretti’s Three Floors, Leos Carax’s opening film Annette, Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta, a 17th century erotic drama set in an Italian convent, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch (which would probably have been the opening film had the festival not been cancelled last year), Bruno Dumont’s France, and Mia Hansen-Love’s Bergman Island.

Films

Serebrennikov will be unable to attend the Cannes Film Festival because he is serving a suspended sentence for embezzlement of government funds (a charge that human rights activists allege is a veiled retaliation against his criticism of the establishment) and is barred from leaving Russia. In 2018, too, the theatre and film director was prevented from making the trip to Cannes, where his musical Leto was in Competition.

Serebrennikov’s latest film Petrov’s Flu, an adaptation of a 2018 novel by Alexei Salnikov described in the synopsis as “a deadpan, hallucinatory romp through post-Soviet Russia”, follows a flu-hit comic-book artist and his family through yet another day as he drifts in and out of bouts of fantasy and a reality in which nothing is as ordinary as it seems.

Also in the Competition line-up is the Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi, who won the Golden Bear at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival for On Body and Soul. Her new film, The Story of My Wife, starring Leo Seydoux (she has three other films in the festival), Dutch actor Gijs Naber and Louis Garrel, is adapted from a Milan Fust novel of the same name. Enyedi’s debut film, My 21st Century, won the Camera D’Or in Cannes in 1989.

Moretti’s film Tre Piani (Three Floors) tracks a chain of events that alters the lives of the residents of a Rome apartment building where co-existence as parents, siblings and neighbours isn’t the easiest thing to achieve. Moretti won the Palme d’Or exactly two decades ago, for The Son’s Room (2001).

Films at Cannes

Audiard, whose Dheepan won the Palme d’Or in 2015, is in Cannes with Les Olympiades (Paris 13th District), which was shot in the French capital during the pandemic. It follows four youngsters who are friends and lovers. The brief synopsis reads: “Emilie meets Camille, who is attracted to Nora, who crosses the path of Amber. Three girls and a boy redefine what modern love is.”

Carax, whose Annette stars Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, and Audiard, are among a record seven French directors in contention for the Palme d’Or. Mia Hansen-Love is competing with Bergman Island, in which a filmmaking couple (Tim Roth and Vicky Krieps) spend a summer in the Swedish island of Faro, where Ingmar Bergman lived and worked, with the intention of completing their respective scripts. As the days pass, they find the lines between reality and fiction blurring.

Another Cannes Competition first-timer Julia Ducournau has Titane, headlined by Cannes best actor winner Vincent Lindon (The Measure of a Man, 2015), in the running.

Catherine Corsini with The Divide, which plays out on the evening of a major ‘yellow vests’ protest in Paris; Bruno Dumont with France starring Lea Seydoux in a portrait of an anchor woman, of a country and of the media”; and Francois Ozon with Everything Went Fine, which has Sophie Marceau in the role of a woman whose octogenarian father wants her to help him end his life, complete the French Competition contingent.

Several other directors are vying for the festival’s top prize for the first time – Sean Baker (The Florida Project, Tangerine) with Red Rocket, Israel’s Nadav Lapid with Ahed’s Knee, Finnish filmmaker Juho Kuosmanen with Compartment No. 6), Belgian director Joachim Lafosse with The Restless, and the French-Moroccan Nabil Ayouch with Casablanca Beats.

Films at Cannes

A fictional filmmaker is at the centre of Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s Ahed’s Knee. The protagonist, a filmmaker in his mid-40s, travels to a remote desert village to present a film of his and finds himself contending with two deaths: one of freedom in his country, the other of his mother.

Besides Weerasethakul, the the 2021 Cannes Competition features two Asian directors – Cannes regular Asghar Farhadi and Japanese filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi, whose 2018 film Asako 1 & 2 made the cut. This year, the latter is in Cannes with Drive My Car.

Farhadi’s Ghahreman (A Hero) promises to be precisely the kind of probe into human foibles that the director is known for. The film centres on a man imprisoned for failing to repay a debt. Out on parole for two days, he tries to convince the creditor to drop the case against him in exchange for payment of a part of the sum. But matters do not pan out quite the way the protagonist expects them to.

Hollywood star Sean Penn, who was in the Cannes Competition in 2016 with The Last Face, returns to the Croisette with Flag Day, a film based on a true story about one of the most notorious counterfeiters in US history. It is a father-daughter drama that stars Penn himself opposite his real-life daughter Dylan Penn.

Australian director Justin Kurzel, whose Macbeth was in Competition in 2015, has a film among the award contenders this year. Titled Nitram, the film stars Caleb Landry Jones as a loner who goes on a shooting rampage. It is inspired by the real-life 1996 Port Arthur shooting in which 35 people were killed.

Films at Cannes

Norwegian director Joachim Trier, who competed for the big prize in 2015 with his English-language Louder film than Bombs, has The Worst Person in the World in Competition this time around. The film, a dramedy about a young woman in the throes of an existential angst and a struggle to find true love, rounds off the director’s Oslo trilogy.

Ayouch, a Competition newbie, brings a realistic hip-hop musical to the festival. The film, Casablanca Beats, features many non-pro actors. Set in the Sidi Moumen slum district of Casablanca, the film centres on a bunch of youngsters fighting to break free from the shackles of conservatism and express themselves through music.

Kuosmanen, whose The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, was in the Un certain regard competition in 2016, has moved a step up this year. His new film, Compartment No. 6, set in the late 1990s, is about a Finnish student Laura who travels from Moscow to Murmansk to see ancient rock paintings. The only other passenger in the compartment is an unsociable, glum Russian miner. In the course of the long rail trip through the snow, the ice begins to breaks between the two travellers.

American director Sean Baker gets his first shot at the Palme d’Or with Red Rocket, about a down-and-out former porn star returns to his small Texas hometown, where nobody really wants him back.

Films at Cannes

Chadian director Mahamat Saleh-Haroun, who is no stranger to the Cannes Competition (his fourth feature film, A Screaming Man, won the Jury Prize in Cannes in 2010), is back in the reckoning with Lingui. It is a film about a young mother and her pregnant 15-year-old daughter who have to find a way to get an abortion done in a society in which that is easier said than done.

As always, observers looking to discover new stars of world cinema will focus on Un certain regard, where seven of the 20 films have been made by debutants. The competitive section opens with Onoda, a film by French actor-turned-director Arthur Harari that has been filmed entirely in Japan.

Among the Un certain titles to watch out for are Commitment Hasan, the second part of Turkish filmmaker Semih Kaplanoglu’s Commitment trilogy; Bulgarian filmmaking pair Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova’s Women Do Cry; Arab-Israeli director Eran Kolirin’s Let There Be Morning;and Russian filmmaker Kira Kovalenko’s Unclenching the Fists.

One film this critic would be particularly keen to watch is from Russia – Alexey German Jr.’s House Arrest. The protagonist of the film, David, is a university professor who launches a broadside against the city administration on social media. But instead of the mayor’s questionable dealings being probed, the whistle-blower is put under house arrest on a trumped-up charge. And thus begins a David-versus-Goliath battle.


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Sathyajit Ray

A Conspicuous Absence

admin   July 5, 2021

Satyajit Ray’s work was showcased in Cannes Film Festival on several occasions. It is a tad disappointing, therefore, to find him missing from Cannes Classics in his centenary year. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful had one of Ray’s masterworks been in the mix this year as well?

By Saibal Chatterjee

Satyajit Ray had a long and symbiotic relationship with Cannes. It began with his very first film, Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road, 1955), which won the Best Human Document award at the festival’s ninth edition in 1956. The Indian maestro’s work was showcased in Cannes on several occasions thereafter. It is a tad disappointing, therefore, to find him missing from Cannes Classics in his centenary year.

After Pather Panchali, three of Ray’s films were in the Cannes Competition – Parash Pathar (1958), Devi (1962) and Ghare Baire (1984). A late-career work, Ganashatru (1989), played in the Special Screenings section. In 2013, one of his most consummate films, Charulata, was screened in Cannes Classics. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful had one of Ray’s masterworks been in the mix this year as well?

Widely credited with putting Indian cinema on the world map, Pather Panchali has been screened in Cannes on as many as four occasions. Besides the world premiere in 1956, when it heralded Ray’s arrival on the global stage, it was in Special Screenings in 1992 (as a homage to the filmmaker who had passed away weeks earlier), Directors’ Fortnight in 1995 (to mark the film’s 40th anniversary), and Cannes Classics in 2005 (on the occasion of the film’s 50th anniversary). It might have been in the fitness of things to find a slot for a Ray film in the Classics 2021 selection.
The Cannes Film Festival is the only one of Europe’s ‘big three’ where the top prize eluded Ray. In Venice, the second part of the Apu trilogy, Aparajito (The Unvanquished), won the Golden Lion in 1958. In 1973, Ashani Sanket (Distant Thunder), which was, like the Apu trilogy, adapted from a Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay novel, fetched him the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.

It may be argued, and not unjustifiably, that Indian cinema has moved on since Satyajit Ray’s passing in 1992. It is also true that nearly 30 years on, the departed maestro continues to be a bright lodestar for contemporary subcontinental filmmakers seeking to make renewed global inroads. Ray perfected the art of making culturally rooted films that were, at the same time, universally relevant. That is an ability that can never go out of vogue.

No filmmaker in this country has reached the heights that Ray consistently did at the peak of his prowess – all the more reason to celebrate what he achieved in terms of paving the way for his successors.

In his centenary year and beyond, Ray remains a constant presence in our midst, reminding us of the intrinsic capacity of the medium to capture the essence of life that might be specific to one part of world and yet communicate with people across the globe. He was an auteur in the truest sense of the word, the kind of filmmaker that the Cannes Film Festival has feted over the decades.

Ray’s oeuvre is important not only as films but also as historical/social chronicles. “Seldom has a film director’s work chronicled the process of social change in a country over as long a span of time as Satyajit Ray’s,” film critic Chidananda Dasgupta wrote in his book The Cinema of Satyajit Ray. “The subjects of his films range over the shifting social scene in India for over one hundred and fifty years (at the time of the book’s publication).”

Dasgupta wrote: “Devi (The Goddess, 1960) is placed in the 1830s. Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players, 1977) in the 1850s. Charulata (1964) is laid in 1879, Jalsaghar (The Music Room, 1958) at the turn of the century, the Apu trilogy in the early years of the 20th century. Sadgati (The Deliverance, 1981) was written by Premchand in the 1930s about an unspecified, as it were timeless, period. Ashani Sanket (Distant Thunder, 1973) deals with the British-made wartime famine of 1943; besides, he of course made a host of contemporary films.”

Ray’s contemporary films – Abhijan (The Expedition, 1962), Mahanagar (The BigCity, 1963), Aranyer Din Ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest, 1969), Seemabaddha (Company Limited, 1971), and Jana Aranya (The Middleman, 1975), among others – present a vivid portrait of a society and a culture in flux. No filmmaker has ever caught the nuances of this process and its impact on human beings as felicitously as he did. The simplicity of his films was often deceptive. Nothing that Ray made was ever chance-directed.

Ray's Films

Ray at Cannes

Beginning with the ninth edition of the Cannes Film Festival (1956), where his debut film PatherPanchali won the Prix du Document Humain, the Indian maestro travelled to the Croisette on several occasions in subsequent years. He had three more titles in the Cannes Competition – Parash Pathar (1958), Devi (1962) and GhareBaire (1984) – besides Ganashatru (1989) in the Special Screenings section. In 2013, one of his greatest films, Charulata, was screened in Cannes Classics.

Pather Panchali is as much a part of Indian cinema folklore as it is of the Cannes Film Festival’s own history. In 1956, it won the Best Human Document Award, narrowly losing the Palme d’Or race to the French documentary Le Monde du Silence (The Silent World), directed by Louis Malle and famed oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. It was a year of heavy-hitters in the Cannes Competition, with the likes of Ingmar Bergman (Smiles of a Summer Night, which also won a Special Award), Akira Kurosawa (I Live in Fear) and Alfred Hitchcock (The Man Who Knew Too Much) going head to head. It was also the year when Henri-Georges Clouzot, known for his seminal French thrillers, landed a Special Jury Award for his Picasso documentary, Le Mystere Picasso (The Mystery of Picasso).The jury was headed by French actor-director-producer Maurice Lehmann.


Pre-Cannes Screenings Schedule Now From June 21-25

admin   April 15, 2021

Listening to and answering the needs of the industry, the Marché du Film team has decided to run the online Pre-Cannes Screenings from June 21-25, two weeks before the Marché du Film physcial market in Cannes (6-15 July).

Based on the request from sales agents to have an event between the EFM and the Marché du Film in Cannes in July, the Marché du Film announced a few weeks ago the Pre-Cannes Screenings from May 25-28.

Much recently, some sales companies voiced their preference to hold the event later in June. Following this, it was decided to launch a ‘wide survey’ to all buyers and sellers. Over 700 answered and a vast majority confirmed their participation in the Pre-Cannes Screenings and 66 per cent voted in this new context for moving to June 21. “A vast majority confirmed their participation in the Pre-Cannes Screenings and 66% voted in this new context for moving to June21,” Marché du Film said in a statement.

Registration for the Marché du Film was opened recently with an ‘early bird’ rate in place until 19 April 2021 of € 349 (excluding taxes) for the onsite event in Cannes and € 129 (excluding taxes) for the online Marché alone.

In order to enable registered participants to adapt their plans up until the last minute, it will be possible to change from online to onsite accreditation and vice versa without incurring penalties.

In July, the Marché du Film will offer all its usual activities: stands, screenings, the Village International, networking programs, conferences… Professionals unable to travel will still be able to take part via virtual screenings of certain films, conferences that will be broadcasted simultaneously and some of the networking programs.


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MIPTV Director Lucy Smith Gives Sneak Peak of Digital MIPTV

admin   March 31, 2021

In the MIPTV Preview 2021 Curtain Raiser Edition, MIPTV director Lucy Smith has given a curtain raiser of sorts on what’s in store this year at the much awaited event. “We are looking forward more than ever to bringing everyone together for the best of MIPTV, MIPDoc & MIPFormats online this April.”

The 58th edition of Cannes’ TV market MipTV, set to run from April 12, will be a virtual affair for the second consecutive year. The 2020 edition was also forced to go digital due to the pandemic.

Organizer Reed MIDEM has said sister events MipDoc and MipFormats will also become virtual events.

According to Lucy Smith, Digital MIPTV, with its rich content showcases will be your guide to the very best in the new programming. The 7th annual MIPDrama, an exclusive look at the most anticipated series in production around the world gets underway just ahead of the MIPTV week.

This is followed by a series of non-scripted showcases offering a first look at factual programming, high-end documentary and factual formats from the biggest names in the industry.

“And our exclusive Fresh TV sessions even more in demand as the industry looks to the future and adjusts to the effects the past year, we introduce two brand new sessions focussing on young-adult content, esports, podcasts and brands,” says Lucy.

She adds: “We’re also excited to be welcoming for the first time two of the biggest names in global entertainment- David Becham and Marc Anthony- as they turn their focus towards television production and share their ambitions for their studio enterprises.”

The launch of the MIP SDG Award last year, supporting the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, underlines our commitment to galvanising the industry to support social change, she says and adds: “This year we honour A+E Networks president Paul Buccieri, for his company’s outstanding efforts in reducing inequality both in programming and behind the camera.”

She says, “we have designed this year’s MIPTV programme around the elements that we know are most valuable to you: one-to-one matchmaking, networking, conferences and market intelligence, with a sharp focus on doing real business.”

Before signing off, she adds: “We have also learned how much Cannes means to you and that nothing replaces meeting face-to-face to share our love of television.”