200 films from 65 countries to be screened at 14th Mumbai Film Festival

MUMBAI: Over 200 films from 65 countries will be screened at the 14th edition of the Mumbai film Festival which has shifted its location to South Mumbai.

The event, which takes place from 18-25 October, will honour actress Waheeda Rehman with the Lifetime Achievement award. While Reliance Entertainment is the presenting sponsor and has been with the festival since 2006, American Express has joined this year as a co-sponsor.

Films that will air include ‘The Sapphires‘ from Australia, ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild‘ from the US, ‘Neighbouring Sounds‘ from Brazil, ‘Maddened By His Absence‘ from France, ‘Stories We Tell‘ from Canada, ‘The Hunt‘ from Denmark, ‘A Royal Affair‘, ‘Me and You‘ from Italy, ‘The Angels’ Share‘ from the UK, ‘Taboor‘ from Iran, ‘Renoir‘ from France, ‘Won‘t Back Down‘ from the US, ‘On The Road‘ from Brazil, ‘Cosmopolis‘ and ‘Amour‘ which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

The total prize money at this festival for competitions is $220,000. A new competition, ‘India Gold 2012, has been introduced which will see 13 Indian language films of debut directors compete for $11,000. Other competitions include celebrate Age and Dimensions Mumbai.

To celebrate 100 years of Indian film, the festival will screen a package of restored Indian silent films accompanied by live orchestra. ‘Rendezvous With French Cinema’ returns for a second year. There will also be films that trace the history of Italian cinema. It will also have a section devoted to films from Afghanistan. In addition, homage will be paid to Dara Singh, Rajesh Khanna and A.K. Hangal.

Special events include a direction master class by Andy Tenant, creative production masterclasses by Gary Kurtz, acting master classes by Jaya Bachchan, editing masterclasses by Pascale Chovance and cinematography masterclasses by Declan Quinn. There will also be pitching and screenplay writing master classes which will be conducted by Equinoxe with the attendance of script consultant Claire Dobbin and screenwriter David Maggee.

For the first time there will be a panel discussion on restoration and preservation of films with representatives from Fox, Film Foundation, World Cinema Foundation and Academy Film Archive of the Academy of motion picture Arts and Sciences discussing on this topic.

Cinemascapes, the event that brings together filmmakers with location service providers, will be co-located during the festival. Filmmakers will be able to interact with national and international agencies regarding film locations and filmmaking incentives.

The film market Film Mart will aim at getting buyers for Indian films from non traditional markets like Latin America, the Far East and Eastern Europe.

MFF director Srinivasan Narayanan said, “This is the best festival yet and this has been possible due to the support we have been receiving from our sponsors, Government of Maharashtra and pleased to screen numerous award winning films all of which are Indian premieres. All this has been possible with the support of Mrs. Tina Ambani, the Reliance entertainment team and American Express being committed to the growth of the festival.”

Mami chairman Shyam Benegal said, ”NCPA is the best place to hold this festival. They have welcomed us. Hopefully the NCPA will become a permanent venue for the festival. The quality of films has improved year after year. The Mami trustees are filmmakers who doing it for the fraternity. In addition to NCPA, Inox and Liberty, we are screening films in two cinemas in North Mumbai. So the whole city will be covered.”

Reliance Entertainment chairman, Mami trustee Amit Khanna spoke about the Mumbai Film Mart which will be held at the Oberoi. “Much like the festival itself the Mart too has grown. Last year we facilitated some record breaking deals. This year we see the attendance of key players from non traditional markets such Wowow, Nikatsu, Happinet Corp in addition to film sales agents such as Fandango Portabello, MK2, Tanweer, Celluloid Dreams and The Festival Agency.”

Reliance Entertainment CEO Sanjeev Lamba said that his company had been involved for five years. “We wanted to see how as an entertainment company, we could give back to the entertainment fraternity. The aim was to create a venue where the best of world cinema can be seen. Reliance Entertainment organises the logistics of the event. Not many facilities in the city can accommodate the number of people who want to attend a film festival.

“All NCPA screens will be converted to movie screens with the help of companies like Dolby. The Oberoi Hotel is the hug for activities like the film Mart. Obviously cost is a factor in organising this event. So we looked at partnerships with like minded companies. It did not take long for American Express to agree to come on board. Their know how and experience in being associated with the Tribeca Film Festival in America will help make the Mumbai film Festival bigger and better.”

American Express India president Sanjay Rishi said, “For us this feels like a homecoming. We are associated with Tribeca Film festival, BFI in Lodon, Sundance. We have also done ads with film personalities like Kate Winslet, M Night Shyamalan and Martin Scorsese to name a few. At the Mumbai Film festival we will create opportunities for our customers through things like preferred seating at screenings, dining festivals. This gives us the opportunity to promote global culture.“

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14th Mumbai film fest from 18 to 25 October

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