Discovering Asia


In 2015 I was encouraged twice, almost simultaneously, but independently to turn my head towards Asia. To turn my head in a broader sense of course, since I already knew about the high speed of technological development in Asia. Through a workshop offered by Nordic Culture Fond in Helsinki, I met Executive Director of Finnanimation Liisa Vähäkylä, who has many years of in-depth experience with Scandinavian co-production with China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. She has now written an article for us about the importance of understanding and collaborating with the huge markets and professional/technical skills of Far East Asia. You can find her article on the next page and you will also be able to meet Liisa during The Financing Forum, where she will give a speech in this context and shed light on the key issues.

For the first time ever in the pitching section we present a European-Asian co-production between Italy, Germany and Singapore: Garden Gang (page 28).

Incredible India

I received an invitation to give feedback on six projects for children during the final session of the inaugural Childrens Film Screenwriters Lab, organized by National Film Development Cooperation NFDC/ Film Bazaar. It was of course impossible to say no to.

Film Bazaar is a platform exclusively created to encourage collaboration between the International and South Asian Film Fraternity.

After the six pitches, I, togheter with my co-expert producer/director Mette-Ann Schepelern, Denmark, had the pleasure to meet all the writers one-to-one. Out of the six first ever lab. projects for children in India we decided to invite two of them to come to Malmö:

We selected Sagarika Banik’s A Lottery Ticket to join the Forum as a pitching project. It is a rite-of-passage tale about a boy who believes his lottery ticket will fulfil his dream of owning a bicycle one day: “Banik is telling a story for the story’s own sake and with a truly local origin. We believe this project can turn into a beautiful film, with the right kind of roughness and cinematographic texture, which will inspire a young audience – not only in India.”

The selected project A Lottery Ticket from India is presented on page 20.

Shreyas Govindarajan Thathachari’s The Adventures of Kaka and Kiki received a special mention which entitles him an observer status at the Forum because: “Thathachari shows a deep flourishing insight in childhood. He understands how to transform his ideas into captivating storytelling for children.” Shreyas will be available for one-to-one meetings.

The successful start of the Lab and what we experienced in Goa, resulted in a wish for a more formalised collaboration between Film Bazaar and The Financing Forum in the coming years. Head of NFDC Training and Development, Urmi Juvekar who runs the Screenwriters Lab. will join us in Malmö together with Sagarika Banik (A Lottery Ticket), Shreyas G Thathachari (The Adventures of Kaka and Kiki) and producers Ramon Chibb and Anku Pande Chibb, Mumbai.

Presence of Annette Brejner and Mette-Ann Schepelern from The Financing Forum added the competitive edge to our first ever edition of Children Screenwriters Lab at Film Bazaar. I do hope that a longer and mutually beneficial association forms between two events dedicated to support the best talent – says Urmi Juvekar