Preview | Mumbai Film Festival
They once grabbed Jafar Panahi in between his incarcerations long enough to judge the fest, but this year, Essential Killingand Le Depart film-maker and Roman Polanski camper Jerzy Skolimowski is as exciting as the Mumbai Academy of Motion Image’s (Mami’s) Mumbai International Film Festival (Miff) gets, jury-wise. “Oh, and there’s Sarika, instead of Suhasini,” Mami president Shyam Benegal says.
Also on the jury are Bond man Roger Spottiswoode, The Yellow Sea’s Na Hong Jin and Hugh Hudson (whose claim to fame is Chariots of Fire).
With the festival beginning 13 October, do watch out for greats like Turkish film-maker Nuri Bilge Ceylan and the Danish film-maker of Melancholia, Lars Von Trier.
Of course, you may get pushed around at a screening of a popular film like George Clooney’s The Ides of March , because the organizers aren’t exactly working on better crowd control this year. “A festival is meant to be crowded,” Benegal says, insisting that is the way it is around the world. The veteran film-maker says, “This year, Miff has the best-ever line-up since its inception. Our tie-ups with the Cannes film festival allow us to screen selections from Critics’ Week.” The fest opens with Brad Pitt-starrer Moneyball and closes with the Morgan Freeman-starrer Dolphin Tale. National Award-winning films will also be specially screened.
The sections in competition—Harmony Celebrate Age, Dimensions Mumbai and International Competition for first-time film-makers—will vie for a share of the total prize money of $200,000 (around Rs96 lakh). Benegal says: “A film-maker invests himself in his first film emotionally and financially. Your later films allow you a progressive dispassion. But your first is always an indicator of who you are as a film-maker.”
An Indo-German scriptwriting workshop will be held from 11-13 October, and the Mumbai Film Mart will be held at the Raheja Classique Club from 15-17 October. Benegal says tributes will be paid to Mani Kaul, Shammi Kapoor and M.F. Husain. As for Gulzar receiving the lifetime achievement award: “It’s about high time, isn’t it? We are correcting our neglect of him.”
The 13th Mumbai Film Festival will take place from 13-20 October at Cinemax theatres in Andheri and Sion.