Open for Business

Written by Shubhra Gupta
| New Delhi |

Published:December 3, 2016 12:00 am

Before the red carpet rolls: AR Rahman was one of the prominent attendees at the Film Bazaar this year
If there’s one event on the Indian film festival calendar I hate missing it is the Film Bazaar run by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). But it was the 10th year of the Bazaar, a significant number for an event that began on the sidelines of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which takes place annually in Goa. After producing a slate of terrific films in the ’70s and ’80s (Uski Roti, Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastan, 27 Down, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Mirch Masala, Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro, Ardh Satya, Party, Om-Dar-B-Dar, amongst so many others), and helping such filmmakers as Kundan Shah, Shyam Benegal, Ketan Mehta, Govind Nihalani get their films out, the NFDC had gone into a deep sarkari slump, where nothing seemed to work. I remember wandering into the Marriott (a few kilometres from the main venues of IFFI) in Goa years ago just to check out what the NFDC was up to. I had gone in expecting nothing, given its then abysmal state: I left with a sense of cautious optimism. A decade deserves to be marked, especially because I happened to be in on it from its beginning. This year, I almost didn’t make it because of a continuous press of deadlines.