Industry Interactions

The rapid globalization of the Indian entertainment industry has seen leading figures from India and overseas interacting at various forums to discuss a range of topics of mutual interest. As presented below, Nyay Bhushan Sharma has moderated a number of such interactions in his capacity as the first India-based correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter (from 1999 to 2020) and as founder of Connectment Films from 2021 onwards.

2021: Bandra Film Festival

The Long and Short of Short Films

In the age of Insta stories and reducing attention spans, what is the current stature of the short film form? This session, hosted by the Bandra Film Festival, discussed how digital empowerment has changed the aesthetics of story telling and how short films have become stepping stones to realize bigger ambitions. The discussion was held in the context of BFF curating a number of short fims as part of its year-long activities which included Nyay Bhushan’s films BACKDROP, MANGO SHAKE, STUCK IN INNER TRAFFIC and THE SAINT.

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Namrata Sharma Grewal, Bandra Film Festival

Nyay Bhushan, Founder, Connectment Films

Netra Venkateshwaran, Film-maker, Rune Films

Date: 17 December 2021

2021: NFDC Film Bazaar

Forging paths for wider reach: Local going Global

The term “glocal” has been discussed for a while to explore pathways for Indian content to gain global acclaim. This session, held at the annual Film Bazaar event in Goa organized by the National Film Development Corporation, attempts to map out a concrete strategy drawing on the rich and varied experiences of some leading film industry professionals who have attained global recognition for their craft.


Sunitha Tati is a versatile producer and founder of the Guru Group. The Hyderabad-based company has produced a number of successful titles such as action thriller Courier Boy Kalyan, romantic drama Sahasame Swasaga Sagipo and the comedy hit Oh! Baby starring Samantha which was based on the Korean film Miss Granny. Sunitha’s upcoming projects include an adaptation of the book Arrangements of Love by Timeri Murari which is to be directed by Philip John whose credits include Downton Abbey. The project participated in the Coproduction Market at the 2021 NFDC Film Bazaar.

S R Prabhu is one of the most well-known producers in the South Indian industry who has major blockbusters to his credit such as Kaithi, Theeran, Maya, Komban, Siruthau and Singam, among others. He runs Dream Warrior Pictures with his brother S. R. Prakashbabu and the company has co-poduced over 12 successful films in Tamil and Telugu. Some of their titles include Joker, which won a National Award, political thriller NGK, horror title Kaashmora and social drama Raatchasi, among others. Their latest project is the upcoming Telugu release Oke Oka Jeevitham, directed by Shree Karthick and the film’s star cast includes the well-known Amala Akkineni who will return to the big screen after a long time.

Nila Madhab Panda is a trail blazing film-maker who has produced and directed over 70 films, documentaries and shorts based on numerous social issues. His debut feature I Am Kalam won multiple accolades including 34 international awards along with a national award. His following projects included Jalpari which received the MIP Junior award at Cannes and Kadvi Hawa which was critically acclaimed and also received a national award.

Pan Nalin won global critical and commercial success with his ground breaking debut Samsara followed by Valley of Flowers and Angry Indian Goddesses. His documentary projects include such well received titles as Ayurveda: Art of Being and Faith Connections, which chronicled the Kumbh Mela. Nalin’s 2021 feature, Last Film Show has again won critical acclaim as a love letter to the magic of cinema and premiered at the Tribeca festival. The film has been sold to various international territories by French sales agent Orange Studios including the US where it will be distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Date: 24 November 2021

2021: India at Cannes

Discussion on Filming in India hosted at the Virtual India Pavilion at Cannes organized by FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry).

How India is positioning itself as an attractive film shooting destination with the government implementing a single window clearance mechanism managed by the Film Facilitation Office.


Dhanpreet Kaur, Director (Films) and MD, National Film Development Corporation

Neerja Sekhar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

Sheo Shekhar Shukla, Principal Secretary and MD, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board

Emmanuel Pappas , Producer (Skater Girl)

Alan McAlex, Producer (A Suitable Boy among other projects)

Vikramjit Roy, Head, Film Facilitation Office

Shaji Karun, Film-maker, whose 1988 film Piravi received a Camera D’Or Special Mention and follow-up films Swaham and Vanaprastham were also selected at Cannes.

Date: 7 July 2021

2020: FICCI e-FRAMES – ‘Fauda’

Case study on hit Israeli series Fauda

Israeli series Fauda (which means ‘chaos’ in Arabic) has been a global phenomenon which has also won over a loyal following in India with its gritty portrayal of an elite undercover Israeli commando unit. Fauda is getting its first international remake with an Indian version set against the India-Pakistan conflict. This interaction, held at the virtual FRAMES conference organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), discusses what went into the creation of Fauda.


Lior Raz, Lead actor and co-creator of Fauda

Laëtitia Eïdo, actress who portrayed the character of Dr. Shirin Al Abed in Fauda

Danna Stern, Managing Director – Yes Studios, Makers of Fauda.

Date: 8 July 2020

2020: NFDC Film Bazaar

Filming in India – Leveraging the Film Facilitation Office’s Online Ecosystem

In a bid to streamline film shoots for both domestic and foreign productions, the Film Facilitation Office has been promoting its online single window ecosystem. This session, held at the virtual Film Bazaar event organized by the National Film Development Corporation, looked at how this system gained greater significance during the pandemic and what steps are being taken to promote India as a filming destination.


Madhu Bhojwani, co-founder and partner, Emmay Entertainment alongwith director Nikkhil Advani and Monisha Advani. Emmay’s credits include such titles as D-Day, Satyamev Jayate, Batla House, Airlift and Bell Bottom among others. It has also produced series such as Mumbai Diaries 26/11 and The Empire.

Dhanpreet Kaur, MD, National Film Development Corporation and Director (Films) at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Vikramjit Roy, Head, Film Facilitation Office. As a long standing industry executive, Vikramjit has considerable experience given his decade-long stint at Sony Pictures India followed by the National Film Development Corporation where he executive produced such titles as The Lunchbox, The Good Road and Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost, among other acclaimed projects.

Alan McAlex, co-founder, Jar Pictures with Ajay G Rai which has produced such titles as Killa (Berlinale 2015), Liar’s Dice (Sundance 2015), Moothon (TIFF 2019) and Fire in the Mountains (Sundance 2021), among other projects. As an executive producer, Alan’s credits include Dangal and the Amazon series Made in Heaven. He also runs Production Scope which offers production services which has handled such projects as Mira Nair’s BBC series A Suitable Boy. He recently founded Suitable Pictures which aims to nurture upcoming talent.

Date: 18 January 2021

2019: NFDC Film Bazaar

Harnessing the Power of Engagement – The FFO (Film Facilitation Office) model

Since its inception in 2015, the government’s Film Facilitation Office has worked towards promoting India as a film destination while streamlining procedures for obtaining permissions and other incentives. This discussion was held at the annual Film Bazaar event in Goa organized by the National Film Development Corporation and examined how India is attracting international projects and the challenges faced to make the country more competitive on the world stage. With considerable production experience in various territories, Richard Sharkey shared his experiences on working in India on Shantaram.

Richard Sharkey


T C A Kalyani, MD, National Film Development Corporation

Richard Sharkey’s credits as executive producer include the Apple TV series Shantaram, Marco Polo, Warrior and The Chernobyl Diaries among others. Richard’s extensive experience as a location manager include such films as The Lord of the Rings franchise, Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace and James Bond titles Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough.

Date: 24 November 2019

2018: NFDC Film Bazaar

Producers’ World – A Science of Choices

This session, held at the annual Film Bazaar event in Goa organized by the National Film Development Corporation, featured producers from diverse backgrounds sharing their perspective on how they bring their projects to life.


Anshulika Dubey is the co-founder and COO of Wishberry, India’s largest crowdfunding platform for creative projects. Wishberry has facilitated films such as acclaimed Assamese title Aamis directed by Bhaskar Hazarika and Once Upon a Time in Calcutta by Aditya Vikram Sengupta, among others.

Catherine Dussart is an independent producer who has backed a variety of films and documenatries from various territories. She has worked with Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai on titles such as Laila in Haifa and A Tramway in Jerusalem while her Indian projects include Gurvinder Singh’s Chauthi Koot and Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s Jonaki, among others.

Deborah Sathe, director of international operations at Cinestaan Film Company has produced films like The Hungry by Bornila Chatterjee, Mirzya by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and acclaimed animation title Bombay Rose by Gitanjali Rao, among other titles. Sathe was earlier an award-winning BBC series producer and also worked at Film London. Since 2020, Deborah is working as an independent executive producer.

Date: 24 November 2018

2016: NFDC Film Bazaar – Philip Lee

Masterclass with producer Philip Lee – Mounting and Positioning the Epic across Cultures

Philip Lee has an enviable list of credits in his capacity as executive producer and associate producer which include Oscar winning epics such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Revenant, Assassin’s Creed and Cloud Atlas among a host of blockbuster projects. As Hong Kong line producer, his earlier credits include Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. In this discussion held at the Film Bazaar in Goa, Lee shared his experiences on how he became an international producer and what went behind the scenes on some of his most memorable projects.

Date: 24 November 2016

2014: NFDC Film Bazaar

(L to R) Nyay Bhushan, Amar Butala, Deborah Benattar, Rohan Sippy and Ameet Naik. (Photo credit: Manoj Patil/SOLARIS IMAGES)

Remakes – Creative and Financial Viability

What makes a good remake? This session, held at the annual Film Bazaar event in Goa organized by the National Film Development Corporation, reviewed the cultural perspective when it comes to remakes, the content and genres that work for a particular culture and why. The discussion also offered legal insights into the acquisition of remake rights and explored ways of optimizing potential markets.


Rohan Sippy, filmmaker, whose credits include the popular hit Bluffmaster and Dum Maaro Dum. As a producer his projects include Taxi 9211, The President is Coming and Chandni Chowk to China. He has gone on to direct the second season of the Indian remake of the BBC crime series Criminal Justice which premiered in 2020 on Disney+ Hotstar. He is also the producer and showrunner of the 2021 Netflix show Aranyak starring Raveena Tandon.

Deborah Benattar, Managing Director and Producer, Fabrique Films, has offered production services in India for international projects such as Les Cowboys, Fais pas ci, fais pas ca, Maya, Fahim, The Best is Yet to Come, And Tomorrow We Will be Dead, among others.

Amar Butala, COO, Salman Khan Ventures, where he produced such titles as Bajrangi Bhaijan. He earlier worked at Balaji Motion Pictures and at Fox Star Studios. His various credits as a co-producer include Love Sonia, Kesari, Hero and Tubelight, among others. In 2020 he founded his own banner, Guilty By Association whose projects include Mission Majnu and Bull.

Ameet Naik, Founding and Managing Partner, Naik & Naik. As one of the first lawyers who extensively worked in the media and entertainment sector, Ameet has represented some of the biggest names in the sector. He has also authored two books – The Role and Rule of Law: A legal handbook on the Indian Media & Entertainment Industry and 360 Degree of Law on Cinematograph Works.

Date: 21 November 2014