Highlights include top-grade films from around the world and a healthy Indian independent selection
The Mumbai Film Festival (MFF), which was on the brink of closure a few weeks ago, has rallied enough funds and goodwill to hold a press conference at the fancy Hotel Novotel and announce the highlights of its 16th edition. Key members of the festival organizer, the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (Mami), including Amit Khanna, and MFF director Srinivasan Narayan, were present at the press conference. As were some of its new patrons, including journalist Anupama Chopra, who has persuaded several Bollywood worthies to part with donations for the event, and who now serves as the festival’s creative adviser. Lifetime achievement awards will be given to French actor Catherine Deneuve and Indian actor Helen during the festival. Apart from the regular mix of award-winners from other festivals, debut features, Indian independent films, documentaries and shorts, there are sections on Arab and Russian cinema. Around 180 films will be screened. The list hasn’t been finalized. The opening and closing films—usually serious-minded Hollywood dramas—have not yet been announced, and details on a set of Arab cinema down the ages are also awaited. Here are the highlights of what we do know.