The 14 South Asian film projects that will be pitched like a startup

Misaq Kazimi
12 min readNov 1, 2019

If you are a fan of films, you know and go to film festivals, but if you are in the business of film, you go to a film market. I’ve written about their difference before and highly encourage serious filmmakers to ditch the fanfare of film festivals and instead attend film markets.

One such market is India’s Film Bazaar where they select a number of quality projects and have the producers pitch the project in-front of industry professionals and financiers. This practice results in films finding co-producers, financiers and/or distribution all in one room.

Film projects can be in development for years, but if they’ve made it to a prestigious market like this, very much like a startup demo day at the end of an accelerator, the chances of the project being made are very high.

Here’s the list of this year’s selection which come from teams across across India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, France, Nepal, Singapore and USA.

Aamar Xokolure Bhaalpowa (All Our Loves) | Assamese | India / Director- Mehdi Jahan / Producer- Heer Ganjwala, Human Trail Pictures

Mehdi Jahan completed his masters in mass communication from AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia in 2011. He shot PSBT produced documentary, The F-Word by Saba Rehman. He also assisted and shot Sabin Alun a film by noted Assamese film scholar and filmmaker, (late) Altaf Mazid. Jyoti and Joymoti, Mehdi’s first short fiction won 12th National Award for Best Film-Short Feature at SiGNS 2018, Kerala and also competed at the 16th Bogotá Short Film Festival.

Heer Ganjwala graduated from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, in Mass Media and then joined the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, specializing in Film Direction and Screenplay Writing. She and her batch mates formed Human Trail Pictures, a collective of filmmakers which has produced independent regional films since 2014. Mor Mann Ke Bharam (2015), their first feature in Chattisgarhi competed in the India Gold section of Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize. Ralang Road (2017), a Nepali feature, premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic.



Misaq Kazimi

Film director & social justice advocate. An Afghan-American by birth, a global-citizen by choice |