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.
In the 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’.
In the 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).
In the 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.
Among the many firsts, the Mart attracted all the forthcoming big ticket films such as ‘Ra One’, ‘Don 2’, ‘Rockstar’, ‘Ricky Behl v/s Ladies’, ‘The Dirty Picture’, ‘DesiBoyz’ , tabled for acquisition and distribution in the non-traditional markets for Indian Cinema in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Germany, France and Latin America. The focus on these countries attracted leading buyers that included Huayi Brothers Media Corp. (China), NikkatsuCorp.(Japan), Happinet Corp.(Japan), Showbox (Korea), Apex Entertainment (Korea), CJ Entertainment (Korea), Top Films (Ukraine), Novo films (France), Rapid Eye (Germany), IM Global (USA), amongst many others.
The Festival strengthened and consolidated its academic activities with an Indo-German Script Development Workshop scheduled from 11th to the 13th of October just ahead of the festival opening. Speakers at the workshop include the renowned directors Dani Levy, Thorsten Schulz, Screenwriters Anjum Rajabali and Sooni Taraporevala amongst others.
For the Young creative minds selected for the Mumbai Young Critics initiative, they were mentored by film maker Vikramaditya Motwane and leading Indian film critics over a two day long session. Furthermore, Master classes on advertising by Jury President Hugh Hudson and daily Open Forums with noted industry speakers discussing various topics ranging from were scheduled around the Film Festival screenings.
Over a lakh of people watched the films making it the largest festival held in India so far. Regular attendees of the festival included Yash Chopra, Pamela Chopra, Shyam Benegal, Ramesh Sippy, Kiran Juneja, Rohan Sippy, Kiran Rao, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramadiya Motwane, Onir, Sanjay Suri, Ranvir Shorey, Shahana Goswami, Satish Kaushik, Rakesh Bedi, Kanwaljit Singh Brijesh Hirjee, Rajat Barmecha, Meiyang Chang, Pravesh Rana, Sharbani Mukherjee amongst many others.