The beginning of the 5th day at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, presented by Reliance Entertainment and American Express and organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image was enveloped in gloom as the verity of the passing of Indian cinematic marvel and Trustee of MAMI, Mr. Yash Chopra sunk in. As a gesture of condolence, the Mumbai Film Festival family observed a minute of silence at every festival screen across the city.
“I have lost a close friend and elder of decades. Yash Chopra passes on to eternity. Films will never be the same”, said Mr. Amit Khanna, Trustee of Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) & Chairman Reliance Big Entertainment who was deeply saddened by the news.
“Yash Chopra is the premier cinematic institution credited for establishing the popularity of Indian cinema internationally,” said Mr. Srinivasan Narayanan, Festival Director, Mumbai Film Festival about the prolific filmmaker whose efforts and body of work was appreciated by international Governments “The best way we truly honor his memory is by carrying forward his legacy and dedicating our efforts towards developing the platform of the Mumbai Film Festival so we may show more quality cinema to a wider audience.”
Acting upon its commitment, the festival presented the attendees with a story about resilient youth working to bring about a social change in Pakistan’s socio-politically conservative environment through Josh (Against the Grain), the first full length feature film by Pakistani filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal.
The afternoon segment saw the continuation of the second edition of ‘Rendezvous with French Cinema’ a segment aimed at featuring works of contemporary French cinema the unveiling of critically acclaimed film Renoir by distinguished filmmaker Gilles Bourdos is about the twilight years of illustrious painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Later during the day was hosted a segment titled Kabul Fresh: New Voices in Afghan Cinema, the first initiative in India aimed at showcasing the blossoming film movement in the war-torn nation through a selection of short films by both established and budding filmmakers from Afghanistan including films such as animation film The Life scripted, produced, directed and edited by 22-year-old Mohammad Reza Nawruzi, the premiere screening of A Day Of Postman Khan Agha (Une Journee Du Facteur Khan Agha) by Waheedullah Rahmatullah Nazir, Kabul Cards a film that captures the multi-faceted civilian life in Afghanistan through the eyes of 3 natives of Kabul: Sahar (16) an upper secondary school student, Sadaf (19) a student of music at the City University and Nargis (18) a worker at a development organization and Nazif-e-Gurg, a film directed and produced by Samiullah Nabizada.
The evening witnessed a special section ‘Restored Classics’, an endeavor to highlight the importance of Preservation and Restoration of films, by screening restored classics Shatranj Ke Khilari by renowned Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray and Hollywood impresario Howard Hawks’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
The eclectic assortment of films screened also included renowned Danish director Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt, Cosmopolis a film by David Cronenberg, The Making of the Mahatma by Indian cinematic icon Shyam Benegal, Mumbai Cha Raja by upcoming director Manjeet Singh and documentary Celluloid Man, a tribute film to revolutionary film archivist P. K. Nair, by noted Indian filmmaker Shivendra Singh Dungarpur among others.
The 14th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival is scheduled from the 18th – 25th October, 2012 at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) & Inox, Nariman Point, Liberty Cinemas, Marine Lines as the main festival venues and Cinemax, Andheri and Cinemax Sion as the satellite venues.