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Bollywood luminaries unveiled MFF line-up

October 21, 2009 5:06:08 PM IST
Bollywood Trade News Network
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The MAMI committee led by Chairman Mr. Shyam Benegal and trustees Mr. Yash Chopra, Ms. Jaya Bachchan, Mr. Amit Khanna, Ms. Shabana Azmi and Mr. Amol Palekar today unveiled the line-up for the 11th annual Mumbai Film Festival (MFF), which consists of 200 films from 56 countries. All of the international films to be screened in the main sections of this year's festival will be Indian, Asian or world premieres. MFF is a Reliance Big Entertainment initiative and has the distinction of being the only international film festival in India to be organized by an independent body of practicing film professionals.

Information and Broadcasting Minister of India Mrs. Ambika Soni will be the chief guest at the opening ceremony, to be held at the Fun Cinema on October 29. Shashi Kapoor will be honoured with the Indian Lifetime achievement award along with legendary Indian director-producer Yash Chopra who will be felicitated by FIAPF, the international federation of film producers association.

Films in competition will be viewed on 8 screens at Fun Cinemas, Metro BIG Cinemas & BIG Cinemas R City and judged by MFF 2009 Jury Members including: renowned Hollywood screenwriter and director Paul Schrader (TAXI DRIVER, RAGING BULL, AMERICAN GIGOLO), Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, Philippine filmmaker Brillante Mendoza, Indian filmmaker Shaji N. Karun and former Director of Locarno Film Festival Irene Bignardi.

Academy-Award Winning Director Steven Soderbergh's feature film THE INFORMANT, will open the 2009 festival on Thursday, October 29. Greek Master Theo Angelopoulos's review of the past century, THE DUST OF TIME will close the festival on November 5.

The festival is divided in five sections, featuring the best & latest world cinema offering in the last 10 months. These include 13 Feature Films of first time Directors from across the world that will compete for the cash awards of US$ 150,000. Indian Frame will showcase the best 15 Indian films made during last one year. Reel Real will be dedicated to feature length documentary films. Above the cut will present 14 first feature films of extra ordinary cinematic merit. World Cinema section will showcase the most anticipated films from festivals all over the world.

MAMI will be honoring five outstanding film personalities with a presentation of distinctive awards with a showcase of their films. Honorees include: Theo Angelopoulos who will receive the International Lifetime Achievement Award; noted Indian film actor-producer Shashi Kapoor, who will be honored with the Indian Lifetime Achievement Award; Amitabh Bachchan, whose forty-year film career will be celebrated during the closing festivities on November 5th; and screenwriter/director Paul Schrader. The Festival will also pay tribute to the late legendary filmmaker, Mr. B. R. Chopra with a screening his film NAYA DAUR, which will be presented by his son Mr. Ravi Chopra.

Committed to nurturing young talent, this year MFF introduced the Mumbai Young Critics which is comprised of 20 pre-selected Mumbai college students who will form a jury and vote for films to receive the Mumbai Young Critics Award and the Silver Gateway of India Trophy. In addition, Dimensions Mumbai will return for the second year with a short film competition for young Mumbaikars, under 25 years of age. Dimensions Mumbai is the brain child of MAMI Trustee Mrs. Jaya Bachchan and will screen twenty-five short films featuring the theme MUMBAI, THE METROPOLIS -- showcasing any aspect of life in the metropolis which will vie for a cash prize of Rs. 1.5 lakh.

As a modest first step towards setting up a full-fledged "Film Market," MFF is introducing the Film Business Centre in order to provide a networking platform for Indian distributors, producers, television channels, foreign sales agents, and festival directors to enhance the international sales of Indian films. The Film Business Centre will be hosted for four days from 30 October to 3 November, 2009 at Fun Cinemas which is the central hub for MFF.

This year MFF carries one of the richest cash awards for its International Competition for Directors who are Debuting Feature Films with a cash prize of US$ 100,000 (approx. Rs. 50, 00,000). Additional awards include the Golden Gateway of India trophy for the Best Film, the Silver Gateway of India trophy and cash prize of USD $50,000 (approx. Rs. 25, 00,000) for the Jury Grand Prize. The best talent from these films will be awarded the Silver Gateway of India trophy and all films in this category are Indian premiers. Lastly, this year MAMI is introducing the Audience Choice Award [Silver Gateway of India trophy and cash prize of USD $20,000 (approx. Rs. 10, 00,000)]. Films from all sections except the retrospective and tributes are eligible.


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