16th Mumbai film festival organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) touched a new high on Day 5. The Day was eventful for Cinegoers attending the festival as it brought together an array of films, workshops, panel discussions and experiences under a single roof.
Chandan Cinema began the weekend with the celebration of Arab cinema and showcased Youssef Chahine’s 1958 Egyptian classic ‘Cairo Station’. Next in line were some sparkling wonders of World Cinema including Ken Loach’s straight from the heart film ‘Jimmy’s Hall’, Taiwan-Mainland China collaboration war drama ‘Coming Home’ directed by Zhang Yimou, British espionage-thriller film ‘A Most Wanted Man’ directed by Anton Corbijn, and Lars von Trier’s much talked about sex addiction drama ‘Nymphomaniac Volume I’.
PVR Andheri’s weekend lineup opened on a high note too with 2013 directed Hany Abu-Assad’s Palestinian film ‘Omar’ marking the celebration of Arab cinema. International Competitive category saw Nasser Zamiri’s Iranian film ‘With Others’ and Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s Ethiopian narrative feature film ‘Difret’. World cinema brought Lech Majewski’s Polish visionary love story ‘Field of Dogs’, Maxime Giroux’s atypical Canadian romantic drama ‘Felix and Meira’, Matthew Warchus’ real life inspired British drama ‘Pride’, Yannis Economides’ Greek film ‘Stratos’, Ronit Elkabetz, Shlomi Elkabetz’s court drama ‘Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem’ and Tommy Lee Jones’ American western dram ‘The Homesman’.
Above the cut section of the festival presented to cine goers Safi Yazdanian’s debut Iranian feature film ‘What’s The Time In Your World?’ and Telémachos Alexiou’s ‘Queen Antigone’, Levent Çetin’s Turkish film ‘Civilian’ and French drama ‘Party Girl’ directed by Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis. India Gold 2014 witnessed Indo-French film ‘Sunrise’ directed Partho Sen-Gupta. A Catherine Deneuve 1964 French classic ‘The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ brought a shade of her many iconic portrayals. Besides, Orson Welles’ 1947 American film noir classic ‘Lady from Shanghai’ was screened from the magic box of Restored Classics.
Comedy drama ‘Life of Riley’ directed by Alain Resnais and Céline Sciamma’s tense gang rape film ‘Girlhood’ were showcased under the Rendez-vous with French Cinema. The Real Reel included Diana Whittien’s American thriller ‘Vessel’ and Matthew Torne’s ‘Lessons in Dissent’ that captures Hong Kong's simmering identity crisis. Russian films, Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1966 iconic art house film ‘Andrei Rublev’ and Vladimir Menshov’s 1979 Oscar winning Soviet drama ‘Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears’ paid homage to 90 Years of MOSFILM Studio.
This star studded Saturday pleasantly surprised film buffs at Cinemax Versova with an experimental 3D French film ‘Goodbye To Language’ directed by Jean-Luc Godard. While the other screens opened with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s social drama ‘Two Days, One Night’, Ana Lily Amirpour’s first Iranian vampire western ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ and Tessa Louise-Salomé’s artistic French documentary ‘Mr. Leos Carax’, a film that explores the life of the mysterious, solitary filmmaker by the same name.
A back to back feat of films from the competitive India Gold 2014 enthralled the regional film buffs with Bikas Mishra’s small town tale of a Dalit boy, ‘Chauranga’, M S Prakash Babu’s debut Kannada film ‘Fig Fruit and The Wasps’ and short film maker Sajin Baabu’s first Malyalam feature film ‘Unto the Dusk’. The World cinema fare continued alongside with Dominik Graf’’s ‘Beloved Sisters’, Yoji Yamada’s Japanese film ‘The Little House’ and Naomi Kawase’s ‘Still The Water’.
Amidst all the buzz and excitement, film lovers continued to juggle across screens to catch remarkable films such as Bertrand Bonello’s French biography drama ‘Saint Laurent’, two International Competition entries Chakme Rinpoche’s Chinese-Tibetan film ‘Zhaojian’ and Benjamin Naishtat’s Argentine drama ‘History of Fear’, Sergei Bondarchuk’s two-part 1968 adaptations of Leo Tolstoy's novel ‘War and Peace Part’, Jayprad Desai’s Marathi film ‘Nagrik’ and Portuguese film ‘The First Summer’ directed by Adriano Mendes.
Atul Churamani moderated an exclusive session under the 2nd Music Composer’s Lab series that saw legends of film music and orchestra world including Frenchman Laurent Koppitz from FAMES Project Macedonia and Liam Donnelly from PRS for Music in London. They discussed how film industry is heading to Skopje for music recordings and also spoke of the latest publishing and copyright trends. The sessions offered an insight into the fast evolving film music world and proved to be an inspiration for budding musicians, technicians and composers alike.
An interactive panel discussion followed in the afternoon on ‘Unraveling the Past: The Challenges with Adapting History for Screen’. This special panel presented by Epic channel and moderated by Ravina Kohli saw some eminent speakers including Ketan Mehta, Nidhi Tuli, Atul Tiwari and Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi. The session delved into the reasons behind too few credible on-screen historical adaptations despite India’s rich history.
Encompassing many different aspects of cinema, Day 5 made a perfect rainbow of experiences. Also, celebrities such as Preity Zinta, Director Onir, Sanjay Suri, Sachin Khedekar Lalita Lajmi, Kavita Lajmi and Ranvir Shorey added to the weekend charm. With high spirits, the remaining 3 days of the 16th Mumbai Film Festival seem to be loaded with more cinematic surprises.