Free Press Journal

Mumbai International Film Fest begins


The toddler son of a European filmmaker weaves his way through the long serpentine queue of wannabe filmmakers at the Films Division where the 14th edition of Mumbai International Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (MIFF) 6 is underway after last night’s inaugural by Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Ravindra Natya Mandir, which is one of five venues.  They will be glad to know the Maharashtra Government is ready to allot land in Film City Goregaon to set up a National Institute of Animation and Short Films.

At the ceremony, wildlife film maker Naresh Bedi was honoured with the V Shantaram Life Time Achievement Award. Filmmaker Kiran Shantaram presented the award comprising a trophy, shawl and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs instituted in memory of his father, the renowned film maker and a former head of the Films Division, V Shantaram whose first international accolade came from the Vatican.

Bedi’s film ‘Cherub of the Mist’ on a pair of red pandas was the opening film of MIFF 2016 which will screen a total of 385 films over the weeklong event which concludes Feb 3. Cash prizes totalling Rs 60 lakhs will be distributed to the winners in various categories along with Golden Conch.

There was a buzz in the Media Centre MIFF Brand Ambassador Jackie Shroff showed up and shook hands with media including this reporter. Shroff said he regards documentary films as catalysts for social change and is planning to make short films on health and other social issues.

 A biennial event organized by the MIB’s Films and supported the Maharashtra Govt, MIFF 2016 is showcasing 30 films in International Competition, including 12 from India. The National competition sees 27 films vying for the Golden Conch Award. The festival will also present special packages from Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig in Germany and Leiria from Portugal.