He is one of those new age filmmakers who dares to dream differently and works hard to make them come true. With clarity of vision, Nila Madhab Panda made his presence felt nationally and internationally with his debut project I am Kalam (2012) followed by Jalpari this year. Now he has grabbed the limelight once again as his project, Broken Hills, has been selected by the prestigious National Film Development Corporation’s Film Bazaar to be held this November. Excerpts from an interview with Panda:
Good news. Broken Hills has been selected by NFDC’s Film Bazaar, a co-production and distribution market for the South-Asian region, for 2012. How important is this for you?
Well, this is absolutely great news since they select projects which have the potential for India as well international market and this means attracting investors and sales agents even from outside India and that too much before the production starts. The project thus gets an exposure to the world cinema market and festivals from its inception.
The entry for your project says from Australia. Why not India ?
The project entry is from both India and Australia. My company Eleeanora Images is the main producer but we also have an Australian producer James Lingwood on board to co-produce. It is also partly funded by a Dutch foundation, Bernard Van Leer Foundation, from Hague. In fact, now there are some Indian big studios who are interested to be on board.
The Film Bazaar will be held on the sidelines of IFFI, Goa in November which means filmmakers selected by NFDC will also have access to IFFI. Do you think this is a great platform to pitch projects and explore new avenues?
The Film Bazaar will have many international distributors, sales agents, financers and producers, so it is definitely a great platform for a film like this.
Can you shed some light on the storyline of Broken Hills?
This is a story which is set in Odisha 2001, and then it moves to 2021 in Australia and other parts of India and then comes back to Odisha. The film talks about the biggest crisis the world is going to face tomorrow - food insecurity. It is a contemporary epic drama, which is a completely new genre. This will be a global story and have big action.
Have you finalised the star cast?
We are in talks with a big Hollywood stars and the best news will spread soon. We will also have one of the biggest stars of India in the project.
What are the other projects you are working on at the moment?
I am completely booked till 2014-end as I am working on a musical youth film now which I will finish in May and then another black comedy with a super star and then start work on Broken Hills. My company is also producing two children’s films, an Assamese and a Manipuri, with international co-production. The scripts were, in fact, selected from the Screenwriters’ Lab conducted recently.
As I always say, I am not just an artist or filmmaker, I work closely on my vision for Indian cinema and how I can bring people closer to cinema and contribute towards a better society through mass entertainment. I would soon launch a big project in Odisha also.