Films Division working on docu TV channel & resumption of short films in theatres: Mukesh Sharma

NEW DELHI: A total of 110 films from over twenty countries including India will be screened in four sections at the forthcoming 14th edition of the Mumbai International Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films later this month.

Renowned filmmaker Shyam Benegal will be the chief guest for the inauguration on 28 January and the Festival will conclude on 3 February. Actor Jackie Shroff, the first ever brand ambassador for the Festival, will also be present.

A record 825 entries had been received for the competition and 110 shortlisted for the international, National, New Media and Animation categories.

The five-member Jury for the International section is headed by Den Askarian of Germany and other members are: Jesper Andersen from Denmark, Mathieu Roy from Canada, and Siddharth Kak and Gitanjali Rao from India.

The National Jury is headed by filmmaker Mike Pandey and its members are: Biju Dhanapalan and Uma d’Cunha from India, Andrius Stonys from Lithuania and Jane Yu from Taiwan. 

The jury for a special section on Public Service Awareness will be headed by the veteran Ramesh Meer with Sekhar Muklharjee and Ashish Kulkarni as members.

In another major shift, the screenings of the films in the Festival will be held at the Films Division theatres, Russian Culture Centre and Sophia College theatres at Pedder Road, Mumbai. Until now, the Festival has been held at the Tata Centre at Nariman Point.

The inauguration and closing functions will be held at the Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi at 5 pm on 28 January and 3 February respectively.

This Festival, which is held every alternate year is organised by the Films Division and is supported by the Maharashtra Government.

There will be a Prism section, which will be non-competitive.

Festival Director Mukesh Sharma told a press meet that the award amount will be Rs 55 lakh, Golden Conches, Trophies and Certificates and included Rs 5 lakh for the V Shantaram Memorial Award given for lifetime achievement. 

Answering a question, he said he was pursuing with the Government the need for a separate channel run by Prasar Bharati on documentaries and shorts and for resuming short films before the feature in all theatres.

Mike Pandey said he would keen to see an educational television channel, which would include all kinds of films.

Answering a question, Sharma said that the Division had now opened up to NGOs and othes to make films for it. 

The Festival will have retrospectives as tributes of Harun Farocki of Germany and Michael Glawogger of Austria, and a special screening of the films of Fernando Melgar of Switzerland.

Homage will be paid through film screenings to K K Chandran, Krishna Mohan, Nirand N Mohapatra, Idessa Sathya, Prem Vaidya, and Ravi Jadhav who died in the last two years.

Other sections include a retrospective of films by Jury members, and special packages such as Artists Cinema, CMS Vatavaran, Public Service Broadcasting Trust, Mexican Institute Films, Italian and Latvian animation, Serbian Films, NFB Animation by Torril Kove, and Wadia Movietone; students workshops and Master Classes; apart from workshops, a seminar, and a daily Open Forum. 

Rajiv Kumar who heads the Films Division office in Delhi said simultaneous screenings will be held in Delhi from 29 January to 1 February. 

Buoyed by the warm reception to the MIFF zone screening of competition films in National category in cities other than Mumbai during the 13th MIFF, screenings will be held simultaneously in New Delhi, Chennail, Bangalore, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Lucknow, Nagpur and Thrissur. MIFF zone is aimed at taking the competition films to film lovers who are unable to travel to Mumbai for the MIFF. Screenings will also be held at the University auditorium Kalina, Mumbai.

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