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NZ and India party in Cannes

The co-produiction partners co-hosted a networking event in Cannes “aimed at promoting and forging ties for co-production and other partnerships”, according to the media release from the Indian side of the room.

The Indian delegation is a little more high status than the NZ one. NZ has no major government representatives in tow, while the Indians have sent along Information & Broadcasting Secretary Bimal Julka. The Indian delegation also contains representatives from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Although the organisation’s activities span all manner of industries, FICCI organises FRAMES, a major film industry conference event which runs in March.

Julka was a speaker at this year’s FRAMES and, in Cannes, at the session ‘Co-Production: Merging Resources to Create Magic’.

Although there’s nothing yet completed under the India-NZ treaty, there’s certainly been some activity around it. Janaki Vishwanathan’s social satire Yeh Hai Bakrapur released the week before Cannes, 9 May, to good reviews.


Yeh Hai Bakrapur: the Deadly Goaties Gang

Producers Matthew Horrocks and Kristian Eek have been developing a France-India-NZ co-production, Beyond The Known World to shoot in Auckland, Delhi and Manali.

Philippa Campbell also has an India-NZ project in development, and has been a mentor for labs at India’s other major industry gathering, the National Film Development Corporation’s (NFDC) Film Bazaar in Goa. This year the NFDC is adding a Romance Screenwriters’ Lab in association with Mill & Boon publisher Harlequin, which will see projects readied for pitch at November’s Film Bazaar 2014.

India’s been having a decent run on the international stage and building some buzz ahead of Cannes, especially for “beyond Bollywood” titles.

Ritesh Batra’s much-awarded The Lunchbox has become America’s highest grossing foreign-language film so far this year, having now overtaken Indonesian title The Raid 2.

Returning to Australia recently, where it won Best Screenplay at last year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards, The Lunchbox picked up Best Indie Film and Best Actor (Irrfan Khan) at the inaugural Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.

Anil Kumar’s Serndhu Polama? (literally Shall We Go Together?) shot in NZ earlier this year, produced by Sasi Nambissan’s Auckland-based Aiswarya Entertainments. Kumar had some 40 Malayalam features across a number of genres under his belt before tackling romantic thriller Serndhu Polama?.


Serndhu Polama?: at home in Auckland

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