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Successful First Timer: IndoGerman Filmweek at Babylon-Berlin Mitte

Expert discussions, movies, Q&As with directors and creative heads, as well as a workshop with one of India's most renowned screenwriting professors - where other events only have one or two of these elements in store for their visitors, the IndoGerman Filmweek offered them all.

From February 5th to 11th, Life Entertainment GmbH and Babylon Berlin screened a total of sixteen Indian and German Movies - six of them as German premieres - held a three-day workshop under the guidance of Anjum Rajabali, and brought together media experts from the economical as well as creative side of filmmaking from both India and Germany at the International Content Summit 2013.

With much enthusiasm and interest the audience followed not only the rich diversity of movies and an exclusive concert with world famous sitar player Asad Khan, especially known for his work on the soundtrack of Slumdog Millionaire, but also the Question & Answer sessions with directors Anurag Basu (Barfi!), Gauri Shinde (English Vinglish), Daniela Dar Creutz and her team (Arranged Happiness), Kanwal Sethi (Fernes Land) as well as producers Jyothi Kapur Das (Inkaar) and Priya Sreedharan (Shanghai, amongst others) and screenwriter Kausar Munir (Ek Tha Tiger).

At the IndoGerman Screenwriting Workshop from Feb 5th to 7th, the audience had the chance to listen to and discuss with not only Anjum Rajabali, but also director Anurag Basu, Jochen Brunow, head of dffb-screenwriting academy, screenwriter Dr. Michael Esser, awarded author Elfie Donnelly, and screenwriting expert Keith Cunningham.

The International Content Summit 2013 presented itself with highly interesting panels about different subjects concerning economy just as much as creativity in media business. We were honored to welcome experts such as PWC members Smita Jha from India and Werner Ballhaus from Germany, exclusively presenting the India Entertainment and Media Outlook 2012-2016 the first time in Europe. Producers Jyothi Das (Viacom 18) and Priya Sreedharan (Dibakar Banerjee Productions) discussed the effects of digitalization with media scientist Prof. Lothar Mikos (Erich Pommer Institut) and Bea Knecht (Zattoo Europe AG). Berlinale delegate Dorothee Wenner asked on her panel on appeal of "new" Indian cinema distributor Stephan Holl (Rapid Eyes Movies), Gauri Shinde, Kausar Munir, Priya Sreedharan and Jyothi Das for their opinions, and the possibilities and opportunities of co-production were then talked about by Mathias Schwerbrock (Filmbase Berlin), Johannes Rexin (Heimatfilm), Vikramjit Roy (NFDC India), Lena Vurma (dragonfly films) and Stephan Ottenbruch (Life Entertainment GmbH).

In conclusion the IndoGerman Filmweek offered an important as well as interesting and informative insight into Indian cinema, and proved that the same is so much more than just the "sing and dance" movie that it is commonly associated with especially in Germany.

To continuously increase the awareness for the Indian movie beyond Bollywood, from April of 2013 on Life Entertainment in corporation with Babylon Berlin will screen an Indian movie every first Saturday at 6 or 7pm, followed by a typical Indian dinner and a discussion on the film. The first movie will be the thriller Shaitan by director Bejoy Nambiar. Nambiar will be available for a Q&A session afterwards.

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