In a bid to further expand its international network of young talent to South Asia, Locarno Pro, the industry section of the Locarno Film Festival, has launched an unprecedented partnership between the South Asia – Locarno Industry Academy and NFDC Film Bazaar.

Aimed at young professionals active in sales, cinema management, traditional or online distribution, and in the programming of festivals, cineclubs and film libraries, the Locarno Industry Academy is a workshop program under the aegis of Locarno Pro.

NFDC Film Bazaar, launched in 2007, is described by Locarno Pro as South Asia’s largest global film market organized by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), which is aimed at fostering new South Asian content and talent as well as generating sales of world cinema in the South Asian region.

This year, in addition to the Southern Africa-Locarno Industry Academy, which runs between September and October, the new South Asian initiative will be held during the 15th NFDC Film Bazaar, which takes place online over Nov. 20-25.

Eligible countries from which aspiring participants can submit their applications are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Selected participants will follow a program of masterclasses and meetings with prominent industry professionals who will provide them with the tools and the knowhow to navigate the challenges of the film industry and grow their network of contacts.

Said Markus Duffner, head of Locarno Pro: “The South Asia-Locarno Industry Academy will allow us to introduce a full program for young professionals in this region. Participants will be able to connect with Industry Academy alumni in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, the U.S. and Europe, joining an international network of future industry players.”

Leena Khobragade, director of NFDC Film Bazaar, concurred: “NFDC Film Bazaar has connected South Asian talent to the very best of international practices, opportunities and collaborators. We look forward to the exciting exchange of ideas between South Asian talent and the wide network of international professionals through the Locarno Industry Academy’s program.”

A Call for entries for this program will be announced in early September on the Film Bazaar website www.filmbazaarindia.com. More information and updates will be posted on NFDC and Film Bazaar’s social media handles.

Launched in 2014 by the Locarno Film Festival, the Industry Academy has expanded greatly under project manager Marion Klotz, offering workshops in partnership with major film festivals and institutions.

Thus far it has collaborated in Mexico with Morelia IFF, in Brazil with BrLab, in Chile with Australab, in Panama with International Film Festival Panama, in Greece with Thessaloniki IFF, in the U.S with Film at Lincoln Center in New York, and in Lebanon in Beirut with MC Distribution and BCP. The Locarno Industry Academy currently boasts more than 300 alumni from all over the world.