Mumbai film fest offers best of world cinema

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, starting Thursday, promises to entertain movie buffs with a mixed platter of some

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 | 5:05:05 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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mumbai film festival

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, starting 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 Oct 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 festival will also host a special event segment to mark the centenary year of Indian cinema by screening handpicked silent films accompanied by live orchestra.

"The main thing is going to be the nine restored silent films that will be shown the way it used to be shown in the silent days of Indian cinema. The way it used to be shown 100 years ago... with live music," veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, chairman Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI), told IANS.

He added: "That is how we are going to celebrate the 100 years of Indian cinema. Because that is the experience that nobody has now known or even has the memory of it because none of those people are living. So that will give you an idea of early Indian cinema was like. The silent era will be back."

The festival has introduced a new award - the Reliance Media Works CreaTech (Creativity & Technology) Award, and a fresh competition category the India Gold 2012.

Offering new filmmakers a viable platform to showcase their talent, the section will see 13 Indian languages films by debutant directors.

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

Another segment called Harmony Celebrate Age is about short fiction films, short documentaries, feature length fiction films and documentaries on the concerns, spice, fun and adventure of growing older.

Besides giving a chance to movie aficionados to watch a variety of films, the festival gives an option to young Mumbaikars, below the age of 25 years, to share their short films of less than five-minute duration. The movies could 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 and from India, veteran Bollywood actress 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 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'.

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