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Producers Forum, MIFF Hub to coincide with MIFF 2014 next month to help short filmmakers

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NEW DELHI:  The cinephiles are in for a gala time as a Producers’ Forum will be held during the Mumbai International Film Festival of Documentary, Short and animation films for selected participants to interact in closed-group sessions with Festival Representatives, Funders, Distributors, Directors, Producers and other experts.

The aim of the Forum, according to a Films Division spokesperson, will be to share their experiences and expertise with the funding, making and distributing of documentaries. The last date for the Producers’ Forum has been extended to 29 January. 

Funding and distribution are considered among the major problems facing the documentary film segment, since theatre and private television channels are averse to showing these films. At present, only Doordarshan and NDTV show these films, and the cinema halls have refused to show the films despite an order of the Supreme Court relating to the Films Division.

MIFF, commencing on 3 February, will also have a 'MIFF HUB' for the first time to provide a vibrant platform and meeting point for documentary filmmakers to network, interact and develop productive contacts with Global and Indian funders, broadcasters, distributors, co- producers and mentors. The Hub will be held on 6 February and will be about festival strategy, funding, modes of distribution and co-productions.

MIFF delegates and attending filmmakers can register without any additional fee for the MIFF HUB with their film projects: in-development, under-production and completed films seeking distribution.  

Meetings will be set up through pre-scheduled appointments or through Speed Dating for on-the-spot matchmaking. Registered film projects will be approved and accepted for discussion by attending international and Indian experts based on relevance to their role and organisation. 

Registered Delegates at the MIFF HUB can also attend and gain insights from Round Table discussions and Group Mentorships on a first come basis.

Applicants to the Producers Forum can write to miffproducersforum@gmail.com with the following details: Name, DOB, Address, Phone Number, Email, Company Name (if relevant), latest CV, list of documentaries directed or produced so far, reason for applying (no longer than 350 words).

The Festival organised by the Films Division of the Information & Broadcasting Ministry will be held as usual at the NCPA, Mumbai, (also known as Tata Centre) from 3 to 9 February. The Government of Maharashtra and the Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA) are the partners of MIFF 2014.

A total of 793 entries had been received from 34 countries for Festival. Of the entries, 588 are for the National Section and 205 for the International Section. 

MIFF is the oldest and the largest international film festival for the non-feature and animation films in Asia, and is often held at par with internationally renowned short film festivals like Berlin, Leipzig, Krakow (Poland) and Tampere (Finland).

The total number of awards for MIFF 2014 has gone up from 22 to 32. Apart from the regular awards, new awards have been introduced for producer, cinematographer, editor, sound recordist and animator. Awards for the most innovative film (named after Pramod Pati who was an experimental filmmaker and head of the Films Division) and most popular film of the festival have also been instituted.

A veteran Indian documentary filmmaker will be honoured with the V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award. MIFF will distribute cash awards worth Rs. 55 lakhs apart from Golden Conches, trophies and certificates to the winners in different categories.

MIFF 2014 will also see an increased international participation. As part of an initiative to take cinema to the students, Cinekids, Amsterdam and Lennep Media will hold a ‘Dutch Children’s film festival-cum-students film workshop’ for school children of Mumbai. ActionAid will hold a film festival on ‘Our City Ourselves’ as part of MIFF 2014. 

An attempt is being made to hold a Film Market for documentary films, which will be a first of its kind initiative in India.

In another new initiative, the Festival Directorate has decided to hold parallel screenings of national competition films in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Guwahati and Nagpur, for the benefit of documentary film lovers, who are unable to travel to Mumbai to participate in the festival.

The festival will pay tribute to the acclaimed Canadian documentary filmmaker Peter Wintonick who passed away on 18 November 2013 by screening his select works. Besides, the festival will have panel discussions, directors’ adda, retrospectives, homages, curated film  packages, seminars, workshops and master classes to make MIFF-2014 a rich and wholesome experience for filmmakers, students and cinephiles. 

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