13th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) - 2014

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13th MIFF Logo

For Short, Documentary and Animation films

3rd - 9th February, 2014 at NCPA complex

MIFF takes off with a bang and curtains down after a superb show.

Highlight of the Fest

  • For the first time in history Competition films were screened in 7 other cities as well coupled with Additional screening in Suburban Mumbai
  • The Prestigious V Shantaram Award for Lifetime achievement was deservedly conferred on the talented and crusader documentary film maker Anand Patwardhan
  • The acceptance speech by Anand Patwrdhan was brilliant full with sarcasm on the unnecessary hurdles on the right of freedom of expression thru’ docu-films.
  • Jury did an excellent job in selecting award winning films. In an effort to give further impetus to the documentary film movement in the country, the Films Division – the organizers of the Mumbai International Film Festival 2014, held parallel screenings in 7 major cities between February 4-9, 2014 to make the Competition documentary films more accessible to larger audience, at MIFF Zones in Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai, Bangalore and Nagpur. Additional screenings were also held in suburban Mumbai. The festival line up included Indian and International documentary and short film titles made over the past two years; selected through rigorous two tier process to ensure that varied committees viewed the entries before making their choices.
  • The International Competition included documentaries and short films that have been making the right noises around the festival circuit for a while. Dylan Mohan Gray's Fire in the Blood, Ian McDonald's Algorithms, Shai Heredia's I Am Micro, Kim Longinotto's Salma, Joshua Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing, and Nishtha Jain's Gulabi Gang.
  • The Indian section included the likes of Shivendra Singh Dungarpur's Celluloid Man, Satyanshu Singh and Devanshu Singh's Tamaash (The Puppet), Raja Shabir Khan's Shepherds of Paradise, Govind Raju's Golden Mango and Sunanda Bhat's Have You Seen the Arana?
  • Apart from the regular awards, new awards were introduced for producer, cinematographer, editor, sound recordist and animator.
  • Awards for the most innovative film (named after Pramod Pati) and most popular film of the festival have also been instituted, taking the total number of awards to 32 from 22 of the MIFF 2012.
  • MIFF distributed cash awards worth Rs. 55 lakhs apart from Golden Conches, trophies and certificates to the winners in different categories.
  • Besides India, 34 other countries had participated.

J u r y

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION : Chaired by India’s Anand Patwardhan. Other members included were Ms. Angela Haardt from Berlin, Ms. Fujioka Asako from japan, Jurij Meden from Slovenia and Shilpa Ranade from India.

NATIONAL COMPETITION : Chaired by Mark Achbar from Canada, other members were Amitabh Chakraborty, M R Rajan, Piyush Shah from India and Ms. Rada Sesic from Yugoslavia.


  • Kamar Ahmed Simon’s ‘Are You Listening’ wins Golden Conch Award at MIFF 2014.
  • FTII films make an impression at the festival winning multiple awards
  • ‘Gulabi Gang’ gets Best Director Award for Nishtha Jain
  • Kashmiri Film ‘Tamaash’ makes a mark
  • Dhvani Desai’s RTI film ‘Chakravyuh’ is voted the most popular film of the festival.
  • Honours and awards were presented by the eminent film makers Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Shyam Benegal.


Kamar Ahmad Simon’s 90 minute documentary ‘Are You Listening’ has won the Golden Conch Award for the Best Documentary Film (above 60 minutes) It got the Golden Conch trophy and Rs.5,00,000 cash prize (Rs 300,000 for the Director and Rs 200,000 for the producer – Sara Afreen). Set in the coastal belt of Bangladesh, Simon’s ‘Are You Listening!' is a powerful and beautifully photographed film that reveals the alarming effects of climate change and deftly captures the fighting spirit of a community and their will to survive. The global issue of climate change is experienced in microcosm in Kamar Ahmad Simon’s film, as he observes the families of Sutarkhali. The coastal village was left underwater by a tidal surge after a cyclone, and Rakhi, her husband Soumen and their six-year-old son are forced to live on a dyke with 100 other families. The government is slow to help the families reclaim their land, and continuing delays cause mounting friction.

The Golden Conch for Best Documentary Film upto 60 minutes went to Maria Stodtmeier’s (Germany) “In Between : Isang Yun in North and South Korea". This documentary explores whether music can overcome the boundaries of a divided country. It examines the worlds of North and South Korean music, taking the viewer along on an exciting journey through two political systems. It gets the Golden Conch trophy and Rs.5,00,000 cash prize (Rs.3,00,000 for the Director and Rs.2,00,000 for the producer – Paul Smaczny).

FTII production ‘Black Rock’ directed by Vikrant Janardhan Pawar was adjudged the Best Short Fiction film in International Competition. It bagged the Golden Conch trophy and Rs.5,00,000 cash prize (Rs.3,00,000 for the Director and Rs.2,00,000 for the producer - FTII). This Marathi film shows the agony of separation between a young couple symbolically. When Sampada leaves Aakash for study in a different city, the unwilling black stone in the hands of Aakash sculpts for itself a ‘solitude’ with the leftover moments.

The Golden Conch Best Animation Film award went to ‘True Love Story’ by Gitanjali Rao. This 18 minute animation, set in the streets of Mumbai explores what happens when the ultimate Bollywood fantasy is applied in reality. It gives glimpse into the influence of Bollywood on real life in Mumbai, told through puppet animation. The award carries a Golden Conch and Rs.5,00,000 cash prize.

Gulabi Gang gets Best Director award for Nishtha Jain.

Nishtha Jain, whose documentary ‘Gulabi Gang’, won the Best Director Award in the International Competition section. She got Rs.1,00,000 cash award and a certificate. ‘Gulabi Gang’ tells the story of Sampat Pal and her group of women vigilantes and activists from Bundelkhand, who fight for womens’ rights and their empowerment. Armed with a lathi (stick) the Gulabis visit abusive husbands and beat them up unless they stop abusing their wives. The film has won several other awards, and there are plans to release it in theatres on February 21, as part of PVR Director’s Rare initiative. Nishtha Jain, an alumnus of Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) and is based in Mumbai.

Dhvani Desai’s RTI film ‘Chakravyuh’ voted most popular film of MIFF 2014

For the first time, MIFF had introduced a new category of award – ‘Most Popular Film of the Festival’, which was to be chosen through voting by festival delegates. Dhvani Desai’s short film ‘Chakravyuh’, through the struggles of four characters from different regions of India, throws light on how the Right To Information Act can be used to fight corruption. The film, produced by Films Division, was first shown on October 12, 2014 on the occasion of 8th anniversary of RTI in Mumbai.

Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari Award :

Mumbai based film maker Dylan Mohan Gray’s film ‘Fire in the Blood’ got the Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari Award for Best Debut Film of a Director. The 84 minute film tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for the countries of the global south in the years after 1996 - causing ten million or more unnecessary deaths - and the improbable group of people who decided to fight back. The award carried a cash prize of Rs.1,00,000 and a Trophy; instituted by the Maharashtra Film Development Corporation, Mumbai

IDPA Award for the best student film :

IDPA Award for the best student film went to ‘Sonyacha Amba’ (Golden Mango) directed by Govind Raju and produced by FTII, Pune. This film had participated in Berlin and Beijing festivals as well. The Rs.1,00,000 cash and Trophy is given by the Indian Documentary Producers’ Association, IDPA. ‘Sonyacha Aamba’ weaves a story of an eight year boy who wish to have a mango but his poor mother is unable buy. Grandmother then tells him a tale of ‘Golden Mango’ which is being sold by a man to a goldsmith. The boy enteres this dream and pesters the man for a mango

Pramod Pati Award :

Pramod Pati Award for most Innovative film, carrying a cash prize of Rs.1,00,000 and a trophy went to Pushpa Rawat’s 57 minute documentary ‘Nirnay’ (Decision). The film explores the lives of women in a lower middle class colony in Ghaziabad, who are young and educated, but feel bound and helpless when it comes to major decisions about their lives, be it career or marriage.

Kashmiri film ‘Tamaash (The Puppet) is the best Short Fiction Film :

The Kashmiri short-film ‘Tamaash’ (The Puppet) won the Golden Conch award for the Best Short Fiction Film (upto 45 minutes) in the National Competition. Tamaash is the first film by directors Satyanshu and Devanshu Singh, who also wrote, edited, and produced it, along with Tulsea Pictures. The film insists on the power of goodness and the importance of preserving the innocence of children. It had won the Golden Elephant Award at the International Children’s Film Festival held in Hyderabad during November 2013. Along with the Golden Conch, the filmmakers also got Rs.2,50,000 cash award.

In the National Competition section, ‘Seven Hundred Zero Zero Seven’ by Altaf Mazid got the Golden Conch for Best Documentary (upto 40 minutes), while ‘Have You Seen the Arana’ by Sunanda Bhat and ‘Invoking Justice’ by Deepa Dhanraj shared the Best Documentary Awards in above 40 minutes category.

Special Jury mention for an animation film was for “Amlu” directed by Swarup Deb. Another Animation film ‘Kaccho Ghadulo’ was awarded for best Sound recording to Janmeet Singh. Ms. Ranjitha Rajeevan was adjudged as the Best Animator for the film ‘KELI’. Best photography award was given to Soumanand Sahi and best editing award to Jabeen Merchant for the docu-film “Invoking Justice’. Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s Documentary film ‘Celluloid Man’ (P K Nair) bagged a special Jury award.

A few other good films of the fest

Ishani K Dutta’s Documentary “Womb of Rent” depicted an emotional journey of surrogate mothers in India. Raja Shabir Khan’s Docu-film “Shepherds of Paradise” depicted the colourful but painful journey of Shepherds in Kashmir valley from icy stretches to the plains for grazing their Cows, Sheeps and Goats. Another good Animation film was “Good Morning Mumbai” directed by Rajesh Thakare and Troy Vasanth.


Written by: 

Mohan Siroya


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