It has been five days that the 5th Jagran Film Festival arrived in Mumbai, but the city’s cinema lovers continued to be spoilt for choices. A day filled with the daily dose of film screenings grew big and bigger in its appeal as the four screens of PVR Andheri and Cinemax Versova presented masterpieces from the world over coupled with special workshops to wow the movie buffs and aspiring movie makers alike.
The order of the day at PVR Andheri began with three Asian premieres in a row starting with Giovanni Veronisi’s 90 minute Italian film ‘A Woman As a Friend’, a slice of life relationship drama that deals with complexities of love, betrayal and jealousy. Next two premieres in line brought along a whiff of humor as ‘Revival’, a 115 minute Czech comedy of the summer by Director Alice Nellis, and Dick Tuinder’s ‘Farewell to the Moon’, a 94 minute comedy, engaged and amused the audience in equal measure. The day experimented with ‘thrill’ genre as the 123 minute biographical drama ‘Shahid’ skillfully unfolded the life of a lawyer and human rights activist by the same name, followed by the 2010 Arabic period drama ‘Outside the Law’, set against the backdrop of Algerian war.
India’s bag of regional films opened with director K. R. Manoj’s 115 minute Malayalam film ‘Kanyaka Talkies’ followed by director duo Deepti Kakkar’s and Fahad Mustafa’s 2014 film ‘Katiabaaz’ with a run time of 100 minutes. Manjeet Mann’s latest rom-com ‘Dil Vil Pyar Vyar’ added the Punjabi tadka to the middle order of regional films screenings of the day.
At Cinemax Versona, the action-packed afternoon commenced with a retrospective tribute to Patrice Chereau with his 1996 French film ‘Une Autre Solitude’. The golden era cinema lovers could pay their heartfelt tribute to Bimal Roy while watching his iconic drama ‘Madhumati’ that was arguably one of the earliest films on reincarnation. Also gracing the Day five lineup was a lesser known gem, director Ashok Sharan’s 2012 biopic ‘Ulgulan – Ek Kranti’. The film presents real life triumphs and tribulations of freedom fighter Birsa Munda’s life. A spotlight on Cyprus cinema brought to surface cinematic output of directors Adonis Floridis and Theodoros Nikolaidis in the form of the 90 minute 2002 film ‘Kalabush’.
A session on ‘Investing in Films: A Losing Venture or A Viable Option’ turned out to be an engaging tete-a-tete with production and distribution stalwarts Vivek Rangachari from DAR Motion Pictures, Utpal Acharya of Reliance Entertainment and T P Aggrawal from Star Entertainment who offered insights on the risk and return equation behind every film venture. As sun began to set, ‘Meet the Director’ got cine buffs up, close and personal with two renowned film makers, Marathi director Rajendra Talak and actor turned director Sandeep Verma of the biopic ‘Manjunath’ fame.