14th Mumbai Film Festival opens today: Sridevi to inaugurate

The film fest offers the best of world cinema and Indian films this year, and also introduces Afghanistan cinema

The much-awaited Mumbai Film Festival’s 14th edition begins tonight (Thursday , October 18) at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) in South Mumbai, with actor Sridevi inaugurating the event by lighting the traditional lamp. Organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), the festival opens with award-winning Hollywood film Silver Linings Playbook that stars Robert de Niro, Bradley Cooper, and Anupam Kher.

The fest will be a treat for cinema lovers with over 200 films from 65 countries being screened, with special focus on Italian and French cinema, Japanese films, and notably, Afghan movies for the first time. Also part of the offering are Indian classics painstakingly restored, with Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khilari, among others. And even as the MFF is highlighting film preservation by showing restored classics, it has also planned to fight film piracy in association with retired top cop and ex-Anti-Terrorism Squad chief AA Khan.

Indian indies like Miss Lovely that have been a success at international festivals will also be shown at Mumbai’s fest, apart from new films like actor Riteish Deshmukh’s sex education flick Balak Palak, Hansal Mehta’s Shahid based on the life of murdered lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi, and the slick detective thriller Pune 52. (Click here for complete list of films at MFF 2012)

Veteran actor Waheeda Rehman will be conferred with the lifetime achievement award for India, and the international award will be given to famous Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou. A tribute will be paid to Bollywood veterans who recently passed away, like Rajesh Khanna, Dara Singh and AK Hangal, with screenings of their films Aradhana, Samson and Dattak.

This year, the MFF has introduced two new award categories, the India Gold 2012 and the Reliance Media Works CreaTech (Creativity & Technology) award. The earlier sections like Dimensions Mumbai, the First Feature Films of the Directors, Celebrate Age and competition sections remain.

The Mumbai Film Fest closes on Thursday, October 25 with Spanish film Blancanieves, a silent, black and white take on Snow White. Interestingly, the MFF has caught on to the latest trend of silent films (The Artist, Barfi!) and will showcase nine delightful films from the silent cinema era complete with live music – there was no sound recording those days, remember! This initiative is MAMI’s gesture to celebrate the centenary of Indian cinema. Don’t miss this opportunity for a once in a lifetime cinematic experience!

MUST READ: Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival!