The 11th annual Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) will roll out a treat of 200 films from 56 countries on October 29, beginning with Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant.
The Matt Damon-starrer is a dark political comedy based on true events and the non-fiction book of the same name by journalist Kurt Eichenwald.
However, what makes the festival special this year is that all the movies are 2009 releases. Shyam Benegal, chairman of Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), said, “We’re very pleased to bring home the best of world cinema at Mumbai Film Festival. This year, we are trying to increase the participation of youth in the festival by organizing various activities for them.” The festival also aims at doubling the participation of delegates this year to
3,000. Despite various television channels bringing home world cinema, the festival still remains the big occasion for the city’s cinephiles to stay abreast of the newest releases worldwide. “The charm of the festival has only grown over the years. This year, we have introduced several new features, which will make it even more attractive for the delegates,” says S Narayanan, director of the festival.
MAMI was founded in 1997 by late filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukerjee. The MAMI committee on Tuesday unveiled the line-up for the festival. All the films to be screened in the main sections will be Indian, Asian or world premieres. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni will be the chief guest at the opening ceremony, to be held at the Fun Cinema, Andheri. Shashi Kapoor will be honoured with a lifetime achievement award along with Yash Chopra who will be felicitated by the International Federation of Film Producers Association. Films in competition section can be viewed on eight screens.
Greek Master Theo Angelopoulos’ review of the past century, The Dust of Time, will be the closing film on November 5. The film is the second part of his trilogy that takes place in the former Soviet Union, the Austrian-Hungarian borders, Italy and
New York during 1953-’74. Other major attractions of the festival are Earthly Paradise, Deliver us from Evil and Black Sea . The festival will showcase 13 films of first-time directors that will compete for a cash award of $150,000. Indian Frame will showcase the best 15 Indian films made last year. Reel Real will be dedicated to feature length documentary films. Above the cut will present 14 first feature films of extraordinary cinematic merit. World Cinema section will showcase the most anticipated films from festivals abroad.
This year, the MFF has introduced the Mumbai Young Critics, comprising 20 select Mumbai college students who will form a jury and vote for films, to decide on the Mumbai Young Critics Award. The Film Business Centre also is a new feature, which will provide a networking platform for Indian distributors, producers, television channels and foreign sales agents.