NFDC Film Bazaar presents 12 promising documentary projects for this edition of the Documentary Co-Production Market

azadi ka amrit mahotsav

: Mumbai, October 26, 2023

NFDC has unveiled the official selection of non-feature films (documentary) section in the Co-Production Market of Film Bazaar. The selection includes a diverse range of 12 projects in 17 languages (Assamese, Bengali, Bhojpuri, English, Gujarati, Haryanvi, Hindi, Korean, Ladakhi, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Sinhala, Sindhi, Tamil and Urdu) from 7 countries (India, Germany, Japan, Portugal, Russia, Sri Lanka and South Korea).

These projects are of mid-length and feature length and are at different stages of development dealing with themes that are fresh, thought-provoking and new in the treatment.

The Documentary Co-Production Market is a platform that serves as a crucial nexus for filmmakers seeking commissioning, financing, and co-producing partners. The primary objective is to facilitate, encourage, and provide access to opportunities that bring genuine and compelling stories to a global audience. These selected projects will get the opportunity to pitch, connect and collaborate with industry professionals at the Bazaar, where their dream projects can become a reality.

The Film Festival Director, IFFI & Film Bazaar, Joint Secretary (Films) & MD, NFDC Shri Prithul Kumar
said, “Owing to the growing interest in the Documentary Films worldwide, a non-feature section alongside its existing feature section, has been introduced this year in the notable Co-Production Market of Film Bazaar. The aim is to foster connections between South Asian documentary projects with international producers, distributors, sales agents, and financiers. We encouraged application from projects that celebrate human stories from the field of (but not limited to) environment and sustainability, science and technology, urbanization, love and borders, important cultural figures, education, anthropology, women’s movement, gender and sexuality, children, music, arts and culture, health, mental health and wildlife. We received an overwhelming number of 98 applications from 15 countries and in 32 languages. This new curated inclusion will enhance the value of Film Bazaar and nudge fruitful collaborations that translate and transcend the boundaries in terms of genre, geography, language, voice and identity. We therefore look forward to seeing successful outcomes of these projects through the Bazaar”.

The selected projects of 2023 are:

1) BECOMING | English, Korean, Malayalam | India, South Korea

Director and Producer – Vineeth Menon | WHITE HORSE FILMS

Vineeth is a freelance director with a rich and diverse background encompassing multiple roles across a multitude of short and long format projects spanning the Hindi & International film industries. Notably, his creative journey extended to producing long-format shows for NDTV Prime and serving as a promo producer for branded content at Viacom.

Furthermore, Vineeth undertook the challenging task of producing and filming the documentary titled Daslakhiya, a poignant narrative highlighting the eviction of the indigenous Baiga tribe.
Entirely funded by an enthusiastic crowd of supporters Daslakhiya received the esteemed title of Best Documentary by Audience Choice at EFIFD Edinburgh 2017.

With a diverse array of experiences across different facets of commercial and documentary production, his grasp of the creative process has flourished. His passion is deeply rooted in bringing narratives to life and shaping ideas into formats that are not only thought-provoking but also captivating to audiences.

Producer – Rohan K. Mehta | WHITE HORSE FILMS

Rohan K Mehta graduated with a degree in Visual Communication from School of Arts, Birmingham City University and then went on to work in the ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi, London as a visualiser in the creative team. He moved on to working in roles such as Director’s Assistant and Assistant Director to get a more holistic on-ground understanding of filmmaking as a practical medium. Rohan has worked as a creative producer where guiding films and series from pitch to launch, reviewing and commissioning content, giving feedback on submitted scripts and maintaining relationships with writers, directors and creative partners were his key responsibilities. Rohan’s debut featurette is under post-production called Snakebite- it explores snakecharmers and their surprising relationship to a rampant modern hallucinogen party drug. Rohan is a director, creative development and producer partner with Rory O’Donovan in White Horse films.

Producer – Rory O’Donovan | WHITE HORSE FILMS

Rory O’Donovan is a British-Irish lawyer based in London, with a focus on energy and climate, and is now commencing his career in film production, through projects such as Becoming. O’Donovan has a keen interest in India’s ancient indigenous cultures and practices, and has travelled across India. Learning about the diversity of India’s cultural heritage, O’Donovan has stayed with tribal groups in Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh. Subsequently, O’Donovan spent time living in Mumbai, where he understood the ways and inner-workings of the film industry. Rory is a research, development and producer partner with Rohan K. Mehta in White Horse films.

(THE BRAID CHOPPER AND OTHER MODERN MYTHS) | Bhojpuri, Hindi, Haryanvi, Punjabi | India

Director – Apoorva Jaiswal

Apoorva Jaiswal is a graduate of the School of Media and Cultural Studies. She is deeply interested in the display of gender politics in everyday conversations and visual media. Films, for me, are a medium of documentation and exploration of our aspirations and fears.

She has been working closely on the development and production of multiple documentaries with VICE India. In the past 3 years, she has also worked as an archival producer and researcher on multiple fiction and non-fiction projects, including the Netflix series Indian Predator. Along with her co-director Manas Krishna, she produced a short documentary under the Nagari Short Film Grant on the displacement of Bahujan communities due to the renovation of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi.

Producer – Prateek Bagi | RAGING FILMS

Prateek Bagi is an alumnus of the Department of Film Producing from Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Prateek is also a recipient of a Fellowship in Filmmaking from Indiana University, USA. Prateek has ever since successfully executed more than 50 film, web and non-fiction productions. He produced a Malayalam film Like a Midnight Dream (Malayalam name: Oru Pathiraa Swapnam Pole) which was an official selection at the 51st International Film festival of India (IFFI) and won a National Award at the 67th National Film Awards, 2019. He is presently working on a Malayalam Feature Film Narayaneente Moonanmakkal which is in post-production stage now. At the 69th National Film Awards, his film Kalkokkh’ won the Best Bengali Feature Film.
3) DOWNHILL KARGIL | Hindi, Ladakhi, Urdu | India

Director & Producer – Nupur Agrawal | AUTUMNWOLVES MEDIA LLP

Nupur Agarwal is a non-fiction filmmaker based in India. She was the Associate Director & Executive Producer on Borderlands that explores how everyday lives intertwine with borders in the Indian subcontinent. Featured at Cannes Film Market 2020, it won a National Film Award. Nupur was one of the 42 filmmakers selected from India and Pakistan by the US Consulate for their cross-border initiative. She co-directed and produced a short fiction, a satirical comedy about India-Pakistan relations, available to watch on Zee5 now. She is currently directing and producing her debut feature Downhill Kargil.

4) FAIR-HOME FAIRY-TALES | Bengali, English | India

Director – Sourav Sarangi

Sourav Sarangi is one of the most prominent filmmakers from South Asia. His debut film, Tusu Katha (The Tale of Tusu) was based on the lives of marginal people and their culture in Eastern India. Later he made several regional television fictions. His documentary Bilal, story of a little kid living with blind parents won many prestigious international top awards and Swarna-k amal in India. Moddhikhane Char (CHAR… the No-Man’s Island) is a feature documentary testifying his command over the storytelling and love for the people. The film has also received many awards in major international festivals and Rajat Kamal in India.

He recently completed a documentary titled Karbala Memoirs. This film, shot in Iraq where Sourav joined millions during Arba’een Walk, offers a new perspective on peace and tolerance. Sourav studied editing at FTII, India. He has also conducted many workshops and served as international jury on many occasions.

Producer – Miriam Chandy Menacherry | FILAMENT PICTURES

Miriam is the Founder Director of Filament Pictures, dedicated to creating a brand of social documentaries that have won international acclaim. Her award-winning films are From the Shadows, #Missingirls (2022), The Leopard’s Tribe (2022), Lyari Notes (2015), The Rat Race (2011), Robot Jockey (2007), Stuntmen of Bollywood (2005) and a 7 part series on BBC World. Her films hav premiered at the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam and broadcast on channels lik NGC, BBC, Al Jazeera and Arte. She served as jury member on the IDA awards (USA), Kashish LGBTQ Festival and Indian Documentary Producers Association Awards. In 2019-20 she is one of 18 fellows selected for the Global Media Makers Fellowship by Film Independent and US State Department.

5) FINDING LANKA | English, Odia, Sinhala, Tamil | India, Sri Lanka

Director(s) – Nila Madhab Panda & Vimukthi Jayasundara

Producer – Nila Madhab Panda

Nila Madhab Panda is an award-winning director, writer, and producer, known for his work on over 70 films, documentaries, and shorts addressing India’s pressing social issues like climate change, child labor, education, and water and sanitation problems. His debut feature, I Am Kalam (2010), earned 34 international awards and a national award. Jalpari (2012) won the MIP Junior award at Cannes. Panda continued with impactful films like Babloo Happy Hai (2014) and Kaun Kitne Paani Mein (2015). Kadvi Hawa (2017) raised awareness about climate change in Indian cinema, winning a national award. His documentary God’s Own People (2016) explores faith and nature. Panda received the highest honour, Padma Shri Award in 2016 and recently debuted on OTT with The Jengaburu Curse, India’s first climate fiction web series. His films reflect personal experiences and human emotions, making them deeply moving.

Vimukthi Jayasundara, born in 1977 in Sri Lanka, studied at Le Fresnoy, Studio national des artscontemporains, in France. His directorial debut, The Forsaken Land won the Caméra d’Or Prize at the Cannes Festival in 2005. Between Two Worlds, his second film, was selected for the International Competition at the Venice International Film Festival in 2009, while Mushrooms was screened in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes in 2011. Jayasundara has also directed a documentary called The Land of Silence in 2001 and a short, Empty for Love, in 2002.


Director – Mayur Mahapatra

He is a Bhubaneswar-based passionate and experienced Film Director as well as Cinematographer, who has shot and directed two acclaimed short Documentaries titled Lost and Found (Odia) and One More Frame (English). He has also worked as the DOP in a Marathi short film titled Everyday currently streaming on two National-level OTT platforms: Hungama Play and MX Player. Since the last two years, he has been working closely with award-winning filmmaker Biswanath Rath and has carried out research, documentation works for several documentary projects.

Producer – Biswanath Rath | BNR FILMS LLP

Biswanath Rath is an award-winning writer, director, producer having 11 years of experience in the field of filmmaking and screenwriting. His internationally acclaimed Documentaries Kotpad Weaving: The Story of a Race Against Time (English-Odia), A Zero to Hero Collaborative Approach (English), WAR: Rescue. Release. Repeat (Odia) and his acclaimed social short films Ravaiyaa (Hindi), Kar Bhalaa (Hindi), The ‘Right’ Glass (Silent), Desh Dosti Etc (Hindi), Music Videos ‘India Jeetega (Hindi), Feel The Passion (English), Woh Bhi Kya Din The Yaar (Hindi), Kahide Thare (Odia) etc written-directed by him, have won a total of 468 Awards/Accolades in International Film Festivals across the globe. He is the founder and CEO of award-winning film production company ‘BnR Films’.

As a producer, Biswanath strongly believes in the power and role of films in creating the much- needed awareness about lesser-known socio-cultural issues. His documentaries have varied social themes: Environment, Wildlife conservation, Agriculture, Art/Culture/Tradition.

7) RAGA ROCK -THE JAZZ ODYSSEY OF BRAZ GONSALVES | English | India, Germany, Portugal

Director & Producer – Nalini Elvino de Sousa | LOTUS FILM & TV PRODUCTION

Nalini Elvino de Sousa directed documentary Water (2010), which highlights the importance of water harvesting as a solution to the global water crisis. It was selected for the Vasudha Awards and the Kirloskar Vasundhara International Festival (KVIF).

In 2011 directed Dances of Goa, which takes viewers on a journey through Goan villages, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the State through dance. This documentary has been recognized at festivals like In The Palace Short Film Festival in Bulgaria and the International Festival of Films on Tribal, Art, and Culture in India.

In 2018, he directed documentary Special Envoy, recognized for exploring liberation, social justice, and protest themes. Additionally, the documentary The Club (2021) sheds light on the Goan diaspora’s experience in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, showcasing the shared spaces, life stories, and challenges faced by Goans in Tanzania. Both have been part of the film festival circuit.

8) THE UNLIKELY HERO | Gujarati, Sindhi | India

Director – Ishani Roy

She started her filmmaking career in documentaries. She went onto study her M.A. in Cinematography from Bournemouth University, U.K. As a Director of Photography, she worked with the Robert Bausch foundation, Our better World, Singapore and filmed feature length documentaries that have screened at prestigious festivals such as IDSFFK. She is a published Haiku poet. She is also a member of the Indian Women’s Cinematographer’s Collective.

Producer – Nisheeth Kumar | INDIE FILM COLLECTIVE PVT LTD

Nisheeth Kumar is the Executive Director of Indie Film Collective (IFC), India, set up in 2018.He has co-produced National Award-winning director Gurvinder Singh’s third feature film titled, Khanaur (The Bitter Chestnut, 2019). The film had its world premiere at Busan International Film Festival in 2019. The European premier of the film was held at Rotterdam International Film Festival in January 2020. He has produced Amar Colony (2022), a feature film written and directed by Siddharth Chauhan. Amar Colony, which was in the Co-Production Market of Film Bazaar of NFDC in 2018, is a critically acclaimed film and has won prestigious national (Best Debutant Director in the 27th International Film Festival of Kerala) and international (Special Jury Prize in the 26th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival) awards and has been getting excellent reviews in the national and international press.

9) THE VILLAGE GIRL WHO RAN | Bengali | India, Japan, Russia

Director – Deyali Mukherjee

Deyali Mukherjee is an independent filmmaker based in India. Her first short documentary film Evening Song was premiered in International Documentary & Short Film Festival of Kerala in 2013. She is a graduate of Film & Television Institute of India and Busan Asian Film School, South Korea. The Village Girl who Ran is her first Documentary Feature which is in development and was awarded as The Best Project in Development at Let’sdoc Fellowship Program by Documentary Resource Initiative India. Deyali has also worked as a cinematographer for documentaries, The Flowers & The Gemstones, produced by Films Division, India.

Producer – Sriram Raja | SRDM PRODUCTIONS

Sriram Raja is a graduate of the Film & Television Institute of India. He started his career as a Film Editor and worked on India’s first Indo-Brazil Co-Production as an associate producer. Sriram has also worked on two Documentary films for Film Division India as Executive Producer. Sriram co- founded his film production house SRDM Productions in 2014. He produced a fiction feature Three Auspicious Hours which was released on Indian Theatres in early 2020. The Village Girl Who Ran is his first documentary feature to be mounted as an International Co-Production.


Director(s) – Alvina Joshi & Rahul Rabha

Alvina Joshi is a Director and Editor based in Mumbai and an alumnus of Whistling Woods International. Her previous documentary is part of PSBT Doc Commune program 2022. She won the pitching session and was awarded a grant to make the film. It is premiering at the 32nd International Festival of Ethnological Film, Belgrade, this year. With Weaver Bird’s Nest, she has been selected in Doc-in-Progress, Serbia and Sundance Ignite Fellowship this year where she is being mentored and has been awarded a grant. Alvina previously pitched at Docedge Kolkata and Dhaka Doc Lab. In Dhaka Doc Lab, she was awarded “Best South Asian Project” for A Weaver Bird’s Nest.

As an editor, she has worked on multiple web-series, feature length films, short films and commercials.

Rahul Rabha is an alumnus of FTII, India. He is a Sound Designer from the 2013 batch. He has worked on Tales From Our Childhood by Mukul Haloi, as a sound designer (Yamagata Documentary Festival). He worked on feature length fiction Mishing by Boby Sharma Baruah, as a sound recordist and designer. He worked in Aamis By Bhaskar Hazarika, (Tribeca Film Festival) and Aise Hee by Kislay (BIFF). He worked with Rahul Jain in his Documentary Invisible Demons (Cannes 2021) and film Against The Tide (Sundance 2023). In 2020, he worked with director Rima Das on the film Tora’s Husband. In 2019 he participated in the documentary residency program “Interaction – ISFC ”by Filmart, Serbia and Asian Film Academy, Busan, South Korea.

Producer(s) – Alvina Joshi & Banazer Akhter | MOPED FILMS

Alvina Joshi is a Director and Editor based in Mumbai and an alumnus of Whistling Woods International. Her previous documentary is part of PSBT Doc Commune program 2022. She won the pitching session and was awarded a grant to make the film. It is premiering at the 32nd International Festival of Ethnological Film, Belgrade, this year. With Weaver Bird’s Nest, she has been selected in Doc-in-Progress, Serbia and Sundance Ignite Fellowship this year where she is being mentored and has been awarded a grant. Alvina previously pitched at Docedge Kolkata and Dhaka Doc Lab. In Dhaka Doc Lab, she was awarded “Best South Asian Project” for A Weaver Bird’s Nest.

As an editor, she has worked on multiple web-series, feature length films, short films and commercials.

Banazer Akhter is a Producing course alumnus of SRFTI, India. She has worked as an Executive Producer for Saj Entertainment Production House in Assam. Her debut feature film Boroxun: Songs for Rain has screened at NYIFF, OIFFA, South Asian Film Festival of Montreal and other festivals. Boroxun: Songs for Rain, made its first presence at the NFDC Film Bazaar, wherein it was listed at the Film Bazaar Recommends list of 2020. She was working with International Film and Media Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh as a Project Executive Producer.

Her dissertation film, Dhundhgiri Ke Phool (A Flower in A Foglight) made its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam(IFFR) in 2023. It was also awarded the title of “Best Experimental Film” at the Emami Art Experimental Film Festival and award for “Best Short Fiction Film” in 15th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala(IDSFFK) in 2023.

11) WHO AM I | Malayalam, English | India

Director – Sasi Kumar

Sasi Kumar started his career as assistant director to Mr. Lenin Rajendran (Legendary Filmmaker) in Malayalam and Tamil film industry, he worked in about seven feature films and as assistant in many television commercial films, documentary films, short films and television shows. He independently directed the national award 97 for DD-1, Thrissur Pooram 1999, Janakeeasuthram (2000). His documentary The Journey of Naked God was the first celluloid documentary in 35mm English of 22min duration, this documentary was featured in 8th International Film Festival at Kerala 2003 and Annual International Film Festival (FILCA) 2003, this documentary won awards like Kerala Film Critics Award 2002, John Abraham Puraskaram 2002 (Federation of Film Societies of India)

Producer – Suresh Nair | 9 FRAMES

Suresh Nair is a producer, actor, writer and director, he worked as line producer in more than fifteen feature films, independently produced a feature film, has a production majorly producing television commercials, short films, feature films and documentaries. He has independently produced and directed one feature film and many television commercials, now associated with Mr. Sasi Kumar to produce this documentary, He is an alumni of New York Film Academy (NYFA) and Barry John School of Acting (BJAS).

12) WOMEN OF FIRE | English, Hindi, Marathi | India

Director – Anushka Meenakshi

Anushka Meenakshi is most interested in collaborative spaces, in music that is created in communities, and in friendships that transform over years. She works as a director, editor and sound designer, and has worked in various long and short formats.
Her last feature film Up Down & Sideways (2017) is about the polyphonic music of a community of rice farmers in Phek, Nagaland. The film was at the Film Bazaar WIP Lab in 2014, travelled to over 70 international film festivals, won 13 awards, had a theatrical release in Japan, and was presented at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2022.

Her last feature film Up Down & Sideways (2017) is about the polyphonic music of a community of rice farmers in Phek, Nagaland. The film was at the Film Bazaar WIP Lab in 2014, travelled to over 70 international film festivals, won 13 awards, had a theatrical release in Japan, and was presented at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2022.

Producer – Tarun Saldanha | BANDOBAST FILMS

Tarun Saldanha is a documentary filmmaker and non-fiction television practitioner with an excellent track record for producing high-end, cinematic and innovative content for SVODs and global broadcasters. His extensive experience in production spans over a decade of work on acclaimed productions such as Bad Boy Billionaires, Great Indian Railway Journeys and Who Do You Think You Are. He produced and facilitated unprecedented access for the path-breaking Netflix documentary series Crime Stories: India Detectives. Most recently, he has developed a revelatory three-part series on the multi-faceted life of Mother Teresa and has worked on a documentary feature that traces true stories of the Mumbai underworld.

He has also been a principal collaborator and cinematographer on an award-winning feature length documentary Up,Down and Sideways. Tarun is focused on bringing documentary stories from South India to a global audience.



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