Natesh Hegde’s Kannada film Pedro and Pushpendra Singh’s Laila Aur Satt Geet (The Shepherdess And The Seven Songs) in Gojari — the language of the nomadic Gujjar tribes across India, Pakistan and Afghanistan — are among the five films chosen for the prestigious Work In Progress (WIP) Lab at the NFDC Film Bazaar to be held this year from November 20-24 in Panjim.
The other three films are in Hindi — Swizerland directed by Ajitpal Singh, Shankar’s Fairies by Irfana Majumdar and Uljhan (The Knot) directed by Ashish Pant. Four of these — Pedro, Shankar’s Fairies, Swizerland and Uljhan — are debut features.
Since its inception in 2008, WIP has been the nurturing ground for some of the finest independent films by young Indian talent. Among the acclaimed past projects are Eeb Allay Ooo! (2018), Aise Hee (2018), Nimtoh (2018), Soni (2017), Moothon (2017), Bombay Rose (2016), The Gold-Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain (2016), Lipstick Under My Burkha (2015), Thithi (2014), Titli (2013), Killa (2013), Miss Lovely (2011) and Ship of Theseus (2011).
In the lab the filmmakers are mentored by internationally renowned film producers, writers, editors, film festival heads etc. to fine tune their ongoing projects. The director and editor of the selected films screen their rough cuts to the panel of mentors and receive an in-depth one-on-one feedback. The international editor assigned to the film then guides the director and editor of the selected film through two sessions of the editing lab, which takes place at Film Bazaar itself.
The mentors this year are veteran film critic Derek Malcolm, film historian and artistic director of Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival Marco Muller, film producers Philippa Campbell and Olivia Stewart and film editors Jacques Comets and Lizi Gelber.