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Inaugural Documentary Film Bazaar Launched at the 18th Mumbai International Film Festival

Mumbai: The 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) witnessed a historic moment today with the inauguration of the first-ever Documentary Film Bazaar. This pioneering initiative aims to elevate the documentary film industry by offering a unique platform for filmmakers to connect with buyers, sponsors, and collaborators, reinforcing MIFF’s status as the premier platform for non-feature films in South Asia.

The Documentary Film Bazaar, held from 16 to 18 June 2024 at the NFDC complex, has attracted nearly 200 projects from 10 countries, representing 27 languages. Film Producer Apoorva Bakshi inaugurated the event in the presence of Prithul Kumar, Festival Director of MIFF and Managing Director of NFDC, and Smita Vats Sharma, ADG PIB (West Zone) and CEO of CBFC.

Addressing the budding filmmakers, Apoorva Bakshi urged them to seize the opportunities presented by the Bazaar for effective collaboration. “Let’s catch up, interact and explore new ideas, possibilities, and collaborations while we are here,” she said.

The Bazaar features three curated verticals:

Co-production Market: Featuring 16 projects, this segment connects filmmakers with potential collaborators, producers, co-producers, and financiers from around the globe.

Work-in-Progress (WIP) Lab: Showcasing six projects in the rough-cut stage, this lab offers invaluable feedback and mentorship from industry professionals to refine these films.

Viewing Room: An exclusive space presenting 106 completed documentaries, short films, and animation films to a curated audience of delegates, providing opportunities for distribution deals and funding.

In addition to these verticals, the Bazaar will host an ‘Open Buyer-Seller Meet’, facilitating collaborations in production, syndication, acquisition, distribution, and sales. A dedicated session will explore the relationship between documentary filmmaking and corporate branding, with industry leaders such as FICCI discussing CSR funding as a tool for brand enhancement and societal impact.

The Documentary Film Bazaar aspires to be an interactive hub, fostering collaboration between established professionals and emerging talents. By providing crucial support at various stages of production, it aims to propel the creation and distribution of impactful documentaries globally.

Participants will gain valuable knowledge about current trends, market demands, distribution strategies, and audience preferences, with industry experts providing insightful feedback to help projects achieve their full potential.

The Bazaar accommodates a host of stalls by a wide range of organizations such as Maharashtra Film, Stage and Cultural Development Corporation Ltd., J&K, IDPA, Cinedubs, and more. The Union Ministry of Tourism has also facilitated stalls for countries like Sri Lanka, Belarus, Iran, and Argentina.

The Documentary Film Bazaar is committed to amplifying filmmakers’ voices and bringing captivating stories to the forefront of international cinema, marking a significant milestone in the journey of documentary filmmaking in South Asia.

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