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Ronita Torcato

A little chit, a little chat, a little bit of this & that;meaning news, views & lotsa reviews from an independent journo based in Bombay aka Mumbai



In the second edition of Open Pitch, the concept of having filmmakers present their ideas and requirements to an audience of film industry members proved just how effective it was.  Moderated by Urmi Juvekar, filmmakers screened video presentations depicting their ideas, followed by a Q & A session with the audience.

Producer Miriam Joseph, Managing Director, OLFFI, Ilann Girard and Producer, Pallas Films, Thanassis Karathanos discussed the importance and challenges of public funding. A clear emphasis emerged on developing the project thoroughly before looking for funding. “For independent films, it is always challenging to find funding,” Ilann Girard said. “You have to look at the whole picture and understand the organic needs of your project, so there is a balance creatively and financially.”

Rome/Macao film festival programmer Deepti DCunha moderated the session on  in the course of which the panelists at this session included Festival Programmers Paolo Bertolin and Uma D’Cunha, Sales Agent Chris Paton, and filmmakers Raam Reddy (Thithi) and Kanu Behl (Titli), whose debuts have received  critical acclaim. Speakers underlined the importance of alternative distribution strategies and promoting one's film through the mass media,social media and word of mouth.

“It is difficult for independent films in India to get selected at a festival like Venice Film Festival, and whenever a filmmaker does get the rare opportunity to promote their film, they should grab it. After years, there were two Indian films, Court and Visaranai, that were screened there,” Paolo Bertolin said. “Although this piece of advice may sound controversial, you should get a sales agent, because they are the ones who know how to maximise your positioning within the festival and who already know how to work with and within the festival. You are faced with many challenges, and you don’t need to do this alone. If you don’t manage to get a sales agent, you should at least get a press agent, so that the film gets the widest exposure and reaches your target audience.”

“NFDC Film Bazaar changed my life.I was a nobody when I came to NFDC,” Raam Reddy said in confessional mode. The Screenwriters Lab was the  first step for me,co-production market next & I  ended up getting full foreign funding. The second life-altering experience was later at the 68th (where he picked up 2 awards) I owe my  career to NFDC Film Bazaar, because I received so much constructive criticism and feedback from the Work-In-Progress Lab. Treat your film as your child... I took 6 months to edit 40 minutes of Thithi. Dreams can be built here.”

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About Ronita Torcato

Torcato Agnela Ronita
An incomplete round-up of movie news, features & views from an independent journo & (dare I say it:-) film critic in Mumbai



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