The 13th Mumbai Film Festival, a Reliance entertainment initiative announced an impressive line-up of about 200 films under various sections films for the festival earlier today at a press conference held by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) chairman, Shyam Benegal, trustee Amit Khanna and MFF director Srinivasan Narayanan.
Scheduled to be held from October 13 to 20, 2011 with Cinemax Versova as the main hub of the festival and screenings programmed at Metro Big Cinemas and Cinemax Sion, the 13th Mumbai Film Festival will showcase the best of truly global cinema. Shyam Benegal, Chairman, MAMI announced that the Brad Pitt starrer Moneyball will be the Opening Film at the festival and Morgan Freeman starrer Dolphin Tale will be the Closing Film. Among the spectacular list of films that will have their India premieres include the highly talked about Melancholia, directed by Lars Von Tier, The Whistle Blower starring Rachel Weiz, George Clooney's The Ides of March and Pina directed by Wim Wenders amongst many others. Announcing this line up of movies, Shyam Benegal, Chairman, MAMI said, "A feast of films awaits you at the 13th Mumbai Film Festival. We are extremely proud of the fact that Mumbai Film Festival is fast getting recognized to be the best international film festival in this country."
In addition to impressive list of films being screened under the non-competitive sections of the festival, an equally powerful list of films will compete under the three competition sections; International Competition for the First Feature Films of Directors, Dimensions Mumbai and Harmony Celebrate Age for a total of USD 200,000 which will be awarded to the winning films as prize money. Srinivasan Naryanan, Festival Director, 13th Mumbai Film Festival said, "This year the selection committee had its task cut out for them. They had to choose from over 800 films to finally zero down on such a closely competitive line-up."
An eminent panel of international Jury members including Hugh Hudson (Jury president, international competition), Roger Spottiswoode, Jerzy Skolimowski, Na-Hong Jin along with Indian Jury members Basu Chatterjee (Jury president, Celebrate age), Kiran Rao (Jury president, Dimension Mumbai), Onir, Nishikant Kamat, Sushasini Mulay, Renuka Shahane, Mukesh Bhatt, Avantika Akerkar, Vikramaditya Motwane will adjudge the winning films under the various competition sections.
The 13th MFF will pay tribute to cinematic legends Shammi Kapoor, M.F.Hussain and Mani Kaul with a special screening of their works. Additionally a film retrospective of Jury President, Hugh Hudson's works will be screened, including Revolution Revisited and I Dreamed of Africa amongst others. Noted poet, lyricist, script writer and director, Gulzar will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 13th Mumbai Film Festival.
Besides screening these cinematic masterpieces, the festival this year will screen the best of Cannes Critics Week winning films and Debut features that won the National Film Awards, spanning the last 50 years. The festival will host a special section '4me Rendez-Vous', in collaboration with Unifrance, Embassy of France in India and Consulate General of France in Mumbai. The section will screen the best of New French Cinema, the like of which include The Snows of Kilimanjaro, The Conquest and Declaration of War amongst others. Another highlight includes a special presentation by Lee Yong Kwan, Director, Busan International Film Festival, who will present a selection of the latest Asian Films from Busan.
The Festival this year around continues its endeavour to facilitate cinema business with the Mumbai Film Mart, with top sales agents, executives, distributors and buyers confirming their participation. The Festival is strengthening and consolidating its academic activities with an Indo-German Script Development Workshop scheduled from October 11 to 13, 2011 just ahead of the festival opening. Speakers at the workshop include the renowned directors; Dani Levy, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Thorsten Schulz, Screenwriters; Anjum Rajabali and Sooni Taraporevala amongst others. For the Young creative minds selected for the Mumbai Young Critics initiative, they will be mentored by expert foreign film critics. Furthermore a Master class on film direction by Jury President Hugh Hudson on film making with special reference to Ad-filmmaking and daily open forums with noted industry speakers have been scheduled around the Film Festival screenings.
Looking at the schedule for the 13th MFF we are certain that the festival has become a crucial cultural event, growing bigger and better each passing year.