Mumbai film fest offers the best of world cinema

A way to celebrate a 100 years of Indian cinema.

Ians October 18, 2012


From award-winning film French drama, Love, to Japanese film Like Someone in Love, to silent movies and much more — the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, which started on Thursday, promises to entertain movie buffs with a mixed platter of some of the best films from across the world.

The eight-day fest is being organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), and Bollywood diva Sridevi will light the lamp at the opening ceremony.

Critically-acclaimed Hollywood comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook, starring Indian actor Anupam Kher, will open the fest, while Spanish black-and-white silent drama Blancanieves will bring the curtain down on the fest October 25.

The extravaganza has a line-up of over 230 movies from around the world with a mix of classic and contemporary cinema, with special event segments dedicated to French, Italian, Afghan and Indian cinema.

“The main event is going to be the nine restored silent films that will be shown the way they used to be shown in the silent days of Indian cinema. The way they were shown a 100 years ago... with live music,” veteran film-maker Shyam Benegal, chairman Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI), told IANS.

He added: “This is how we are going to celebrate a 100 years of Indian cinema, because this is the experience that nobody has known or even has memories of, this will give you an idea of what early Indian cinema was like. The silent era will be back.”

Other segments include: International Competition for The First Feature Films of Directors, which will showcase innovative works of merit by first time fiction-feature filmmakers. The segment is aimed at discovering new talent and promoting it.

Besides giving a chance to movie aficionados to watch a variety of films, the festival gives an option to young Mumbaikars, younger than 25, to share their short films of less than a five-minute duration. The movies can be made in any format depicting any aspect of life in Mumbai in the category Dimensions Mumbai.

The international lifetime achievement award this year will be given to acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, while from India, veteran Bollywood actor Waheeda Rahman will be conferred the honour.

Another highlight of the fest is the screening of director Shakti Samanta’s 1969 film Aradhana as a tribute to Indian cinema’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna, who died earlier this year.

Apart from Rajesh, the festival will pay homage to Dara Singh by screening his movie Samson and to A K Hangal by screening his movie Dattak.

On the sidelines, there will be the country’s first open forum panel discussion on the current state of film preservation and the challenges facing archives in the future world of diminishing financial resources and rapidly evolving technologies.

In order to highlight the importance of film preservation, the festival will also host a special segment of restored classics. 

Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2012.

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