An assortment of screenings, world premiers, tributes, discussions, celebrations, press conferences and interactions – the 14th Mumbai Film Festival offered something for everyone and celebrated the spirit of cinema in its true sense.
The festival, which ended Thursday, saw the screening of 230 films from around the world with a mix of classic and contemporary cinema with special event segments dedicated to French, Italian, Afghan and Indian cinema.
From college-goers to aspiring filmmakers to film critics and movie buffs, all enjoyed the mixed platter of international cinema at the cinematic fare.
Pune-based film student Geetika Joshi, who was at the festival for the third time, loved the selection of films this time.
“The kind of films they had screened this time was just awesome. I simply loved it. I am happy that I was able to see best of films from all over the world. I am really looking forward to next year,” Geetika told IANS.
It is a most awaited event for Mumbai-based Anand Shankar and the films screened satiate his appetite for good movies.
“Coming here is always a wonderful and enriching experience. I am happy I watched a lot of films, but I am unhappy about the ones I could not see. Watching back-to-back films here sometimes become tiring. But as a cinema lover by the end of the festival I feel very satisfied,” Anand told IANS.
Some of the most popular films at the festival were – “The Wall”, “The Hunt”, “Amour”, “Rust and Bone”, “Miss Lovely” and “Paanch Adhyay”.
The festival saw the presence of Bollywood celebrities like – Zoya Akhtar, Sanjay Suri, Dia Mirza, Rajat Kapur, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Javed Jaffery, Amole Gupte, Reema Kagti, Naseeruddin Shah, Genelia D’Souza and Anurag Kashyap.
Presented by Reliance Entertainment, this year the eight-day cinefest introduced two new awards – the Reliance Media Works CreaTech (Creativity & Technology) Award, and a fresh competition category the India Gold 2012 and both of them were won by “Miss Lovely”.
The festival also highligthed the new filmmakers work and showcased 13 films in different languages by debutant directors.
To mark the 100 years of Indian cinema, 11 silent films were screened with live orchestra and movie buffs enjoyed the experiecne.
Four films of Dadasaheb Phalke’s films — “Kaliya Mardan” (1919), “Shri Krishna Janma” (1918), “Lanka Dahan” (1917) and “Raja Harishchandra” (1913) — were screened. The other films were Baburao Painter’s “Sati Savitri” (1927) and “Murlivala” (1927), Kalipada Das’s “Jamai Babu” (1931), G.P. Pawar’s “Diler Jigar” (1931), P.V. Rao’s “Marthand Varma”(1931) and Franz Osten’s “Shiraz” (1929) and “A Throw Of Dice” (1929).
In short, silent films were one of the major highlights of the festival.
While the festival opened with critically-acclaimed Hollywood comedy-drama “Silver Linings Playbook”, starring Indian actor Anupam Kher, it closed with Spanish black-and-white silent drama “Blancanieves”.
Ratnakar Matkari, who has spent more than three decades in theatre as playwright-director, had his first feature film titled “Investment” screened at festival.
“Mumbai Film Festival is very important especially for the young directors because it is a window to showcase their talent because there is a generation, who are dependent on these festivals only,” Matkari told IANS.
Amidst all the celebrations, the festival also mourned the loss of veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra, who passed away Oct 21. He was a trustee of Mumbai Academy Moving Image (MAMI), the organiser of the festival.
For organisers also it’s encouraging to see people thronging the venue and enjoying the movies.
Festival director Srinivasan Narayanan said: “We have got a very positive response from the audience about the festival. They liked both the film selection and venue. They are really happy about what they got to watch.”