Sept. 30--The end of September sees a weakening of the south-west monsoon and the onset of bright and sunny days. It also heralds a new season of cultural and film festivals in Mumbai. This year while the monsoon continues to linger, the film festival season promises to be a busy one.
The 15th edition of the Mumbai film festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), will be held from October 17 to 24. Liberty and Metro Big cinemas at Marine Lines will be the main festival venues and Cinemax, Versova will be the satellite venue.
The Mumbai film festival will have an impressive lineup of 200 movies from over 65 countries. The festival has announced new initiatives as part of the Mumbai Film Mart (Filmy Room and India Project Room) and a brand new Experimental film section. These new initiatives will be in addition to the other competition sections such as the 'International Competition', 'Celebrate Age' and 'Dimensions Mumbai'.
The total prize money at this year's festival is $220,000. The festival will also host a celebration of Spanish Cinema organised in tandem with the Embassy of Spain in India. Other highlights include a spotlight on Cambodian cinema; the sixth rendezvous with French cinema; Kabul Fresh: new voices in Afghan cinema; experimental films; a Costa Gravas retrospective; and a special tribute to Leos Carax.
The festival will also pay homage to three leading lights of Indian cinema who passed away recently: Yash Chopra, Rituparno Ghosh and actor Pran.
Another film fest, the Jagran Film Festival (JFF), an initiative by the Jagran group, was held at the Fun Republic cinema in Andheri last week. More than 20 feature films in different Indian regional languages, including Hindi blockbusters, were screened at the festival.
It also featured an Indian showcase section and a competition for short films. More than 35 short films were screened under the Jagran Shorts section. The festival provides a platform for both upcoming artists and established masters in the field of short film-making to showcase their talent.
JFF is a unique festival, which travels across India. The fourth edition this year covered more than a dozen cities across seven states. They included Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Agra, Meerut, Dehradun, Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Indore and Bhopal and culminated in Mumbai.
This year marked the launch of a MasterClass series where film makers held a series of sessions on various aspects of creating cinema. A unique feature of JFF is that the cast and crew of a few select films are invited to a discussion with the audience on various elements of the film.
(c)2013 the Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
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