13th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) 2011 Part-3

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Analysis of the Fest

Good Points :

  1. Standard of films screened has been improving each year. This year the overall selection of films was befitting to the International festival and credit for which must be given to the various selection committees, director of the fest and of course MAMI.
  2. There were two highly rated segments of the fest which indeed was virtual fest for the cine buffs and critic. One was the segment of “Celebration of 50 years of Cannes Critics week” in which selected award winning films were screened. Another highly appreciated segment was the “4 th Rendez-vous with French Cinema” wherein the latest trends of French cinema was seen.
  3. There was a good patronage and attendance from the Film and TV fraternity.

Minus points:

  1. As usual, the accredited media and press was not invited for the opening and closing functions, in spite of the assurance given Amit Khanna, the Chairman of the main organizer ‘Reliance Entertainment’.
  2. There was no proper ‘Media Centre’ (except -3-4 laptops kept behind the Curtained corridor of open / Press Conf. venue. As a solace, media was also given a facility of ‘Mineral water and Coffee’ but very few aware aware about it for lack of communication.
  3. Although this year the entire cinema of 6 screens was the venue, capacity for hyped films was just about 370 in the biggest auditorium. This used to create chaos, a long winding lines in the overcrowded foyer and waiting time extending even two hours.
  4. The festival catalogue, which is a pre-requisite to plan the films to be viewed was not distributed even to the media for full Two days. This was a sheer mis-management and not any constraint of space or resources.
  5. The much touted ‘Film Mart’ was a flop. Not a single business transaction was executed and the press was kept at bay to visit the same.
  6. The film segment of “Celebrate Age” films especially covering the lives and times of elder people was a laudable initiative of Harmony Foundation. But the films worth to be seen by ‘Senior persons’ cold not be seen by them for two reasons. One, the delegate fee for all cine buffs was same, without any concession to the seniors.Second, even those who were present, were indirectly discouraged to view such films as there were neither any specific seats ‘reserved’ for them nor was there a separate Q  / line to stand / enter to avoid huge crowd. Do the organizers expect the seniors above 65 to stand upto two hours and then rush inside to grab a seat, competing with youngsters?

Very Good Films of the Fest

“Even the Rain” From Spain directd by Iciar Bollain

“The Artist” – a French film of 2011 Directed by Michel Hazanavicious. Superb acting by main lead Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo

“And If We All Lived together” from France / Germany directed by Stephane Robelin

“My Little Princess” A French film directed by Eva Lonesco (top award winner in International competition (MFF)

Good Films:

Opening film “Money Ball” Directed by Bennett Miller starring Brad Pitt

Closing film “Dolphin tale” Directed by Charles Martin Smith starring Harry Connick. (Both the films, though I could not see as “No Invitation”)

“The Snows of Kilimanjaro” – A French film directed by Robert Guediguian

“Abu, Son of Adam” from India (Malayalam, winner of 2011 National Award) directed by Salim Ahamed. Superbly acted by Salim Kumar and Zarina Wahab.

“The Whistle Blower” from Germany / Canada directed by Larysa Kondracki.

“The Salesman” from Canada directed by Sebastien Pilote

“Apartment in Athens” from Italy directed by Rugegero Dipaola.

My Little Princess’ bags top honors at the 13th Mumbai Film Festival

  • French Film ‘My Little Princess’ wins Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress Award
  • Morgan Freeman & Gulzar bestowed with Lifetime Achievement Awards
  • Olivia Harrison attends screening of George Harrison: Living In The Material World

Mumbai, 20th October, 2011: The 13th Mumbai Film Festival, a Reliance entertainment initiative organized by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) that kick started on 13th October, concluded this evening, after showcasing over 200 films from 60 countries across various sections at its three venues- Cinemax Versova, Cinemax Sion and Metro Big Cinemas.

The gala eight day affair came to an end with its closing film ‘Dolphin’s Tale’ directed by Charles Martin Smith starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd amongst others which was followed by the closing night awards function event at ‘Sun n Sand’ hosted by actress Isha Koppikar. The event witnessed numerous celebrities that include award winning International and Indian actors, directors and producers.

The International lifetime achievement award was given to Morgan Freeman and Indian lifetime achievement award was given to Gulzar.

International Competition category

The Golden Gateway Award and cash prize of US$ 100,000 for The Best Film was presented to French film ‘My Little Princess’ directed by Eva Ionesco.

The Silver Gateway Award for Jury Grand Prize and cash prize of US $ 50,000 was presented to Canadian film ‘The Salesman’ (Le Vendeur) directed by Sebastien Pilote.

The Silver Gateway Award for Best Director was presented to Eva Ionesco for the movie ‘My Little Princess’.

The Silver Gateway Award for Best Actress was presented to Isabelle Huppert and Anamaria Vartolomei for their performance in the film ‘My Little Princess’.

The Silver Gateway Award for Best Actor was presented to Gilbert Sicotte for his performance in ‘The Salesman’ (Le Vendeur).

The Silver Gateway Jury Award for Technical Excellence was presented to Diego Poleri for ‘Las Acacias’.

The Silver Gateway Special Jury Award was presented to Markus Schleinzer for ‘Michael’.

Celebrate Age category

The Silver Gateway Award and cash prize of Rs 50,000 for The Best Film was presented to ‘Grandma, A Thousand Times’ (Teta, Alf Marra) directed by Mahmoud Kaabour.

The Silver Gateway Award and cash prize of Rs 25,000 for the Second Best Film was given to ‘Fear of Falling’ directed by Bartosz Konopka.

The Celebrate Age Jury Award Certificate of Special Mention was given to Zubin Sethna for ‘The Usual’ (Wie Immer)

Dimensions Mumbai category

The Silver Gateway Award and cash prize of Rs 100,000 for The Best Film was presented to Ameya Gore and Sunaina Mahadik for ‘Facelift’.

The Silver Gateway Award and cash prize of Rs 50,000 for The Second Best Film was presented to Abhay Kumar for ‘Life is a Beach.

The Jury Special Mention Award was given to Chinmaya Nagesh Dalvi for ‘Bombay Snow’ and to Harshvir Oberai for ‘The Circle Is Mine’.

The Mumbai Young Critics Silver Gateway Award was presented to Markus Schleinzer for ‘Michael’.

Olivia Harrison attended the festival for two days to present ‘George Harrison: Living In The Material World’ along with editor David Tedeschi. She was pleased to be in India and remarked that life has come a full circle for her because George loved India and she is India showcasing this movie at the Mumbai Film Festival and this is actually the last festival screening for the movie.

The Festival this year also continued its endeavor to facilitate cinema business with the Mumbai Film Mart, created by the industry, for the industry, in the industry hub - Mumbai, the Film Capital of India. The Mumbai Film Mart saw participation from the biggest Entertainment Industry players, both from India and abroad. In the three days, over 2,000 meeting requests were received, 400 meetings were carried out face to face, while an equal number took place among the senior decision makers from leading film production houses, buyers, sellers, festival programmers and independent filmmakers as they milled around and networked with each other.

Written by: 

Mohan Siroya


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