In the last decade or so, Indian audiences armed with reliable internet connections and increased social mobility, have enjoyed a flurry of non-mainstream films – at film festivals, on OTT platforms, through limited releases and an increasing number of film-related events. Is this dramatic shift in what we watch here to stay? 

The network of Alliance Françaises in India, the French Institute in India and Lost The Plot join hands to explore the future of alternate cinema in India. Harnessing the expertise of 6 different organisations, we will explore the contours of the current landscape and attempt to identify and understand one of its most crucial stakeholders – the audience!

Date: Tuesday, 30 June

Time: 6 pm 

 Zoom Webinar, register now:

For further queries, please contact us at [email protected]


Panelists’ bio:

Ashwani Sharma, Filmmaker & Distributor: Impact Films 

A leading Distributor of Foreign Language films in the Indian subcontinent. He has also produced, written and directed various TV shows, documentaries and commercials. He is the distributor behind the India release of Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar Winning ‘Parasite’ in 2019.





Cyrus Dastur, Founder: Shamiana Short Film Club 

Cyrus Dastur is a name synonymous with the Short Film space in India having virtually kick started it almost a decade back. The Founder of SHAMIANA – Asia’s Largest Short Film Company, Cyrus is also a respected Producer having produced a Bollywood feature film, a TV series and and has successfully produced 2 Musical productions – Strangers in the Night and The Name’s Bond.





Vaibhav Lal, Co-Founder: VKAAO

Vaibhav is the Co-founder & CEO of Vkaao – a joint venture of PVR & BookMyShow, which is a crowdsourced movie viewing platform for theatres. With it’s unique crowdsourcing model, VKAAO enables an optimised theatrical release for independent movies. In the last year or so, more than 75 independent movies have been released in PVR Cinemas, through VKAAO. They are the exclusive release partner for acclaimed Foreign language films like Shoplifters (Japanese), Capernaum (Arabic) and Ash is Purest White (Mandarin). Apart from its unique distribution model, one of the biggest strengths for VKAAO is its ability to source and analyse consumer trend data from it’s parent brands PVR & BMS to help create most optimal and penetrative promotional campaigns


Svetlana Naudiyal, Director of Content: MUBI, India 

Svetlana is a Film Festival Professional with 10 years of diverse experience and demonstrated history of working with the film festival, film market, and the independent-art house film industry in India. At present, she is the director of content at Mubi, India. 




Sanjay Bhutiani, Independent Film Producer: Mukti Bhawan

After a lustrous, eighteen-year career in advertising, Sanjay established Red Carpet Moving Pictures, an independent film production boutique in 2010. Their first project was a short film Kush, written and directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani. In 2016, Red Carpet produced Hotel Salvation, a feature film written and directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani. Premiering at the 73 rd Venice Film Festival, the film played at over seventy international festivals, it secured theatrical distribution in over forty countries and has been recognized with over thirty awards. The film was honored with the Grand Prix XXIII Enricho Fulchignoni 2016 UNESCO Award and the UNESCO Gandhi medal, which was a first for an Indian film. The film also won the best screenplay at the Filmfare Awards 2018 and two Indian National Awards.

Pierre Laburthe, Attache for Innovation & Multimedia: French Institute in India 

After graduating with two Masters of Sciences in Agricultural Economics (Agrocampus Rennes, France and University of Reading, UK), Pierre started working in the cooperation and development field first with CIFOR (Indonesia), and then with the French Embassy in Malaysia. He produced 2 short films and a feature called KARAOKE by Malaysian filmmaker Chris Chong Chan Fui, which got selected as the directors’ fortnight in Cannes Film Festival, 2009. In 2016, he joined the French Embassy in New Delhi as the Attaché for Innovation and Multimedia. In this position, he is looking after cooperation projects in the fields of cinema and various creative industries in order to strengthen the links between the Indian and French industries through co- production and access to markets.


Nikita Naiknavare, Founder: Lost The Plot (Moderator) 

Nikita Naiknavare is the founder of Lost The Plot, a boutique film licensing and outdoor cinema agency based out of Mumbai, India. After completing her studies in International Relations and Copyright Law in the UK, Nikita returned to India in 2013 with the goal of setting up an alternate distribution and exhibition model for independent and niche cinema in India and with this in mind, opened India’s first Rooftop Cinema & Bar in Pune. 

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Date(s) - 30/06/2020
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm