Mostly, Indian filmmakers have their films judged by an international jury only at global film festivals. But according to the organisers of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI) Film Festival, now the makers will not have to go that far.
This year, the annual film event has introduced a new competition section called India Gold 2012 to celebrate Indian cinema’s centenary. In an attempt to showcase movies made across the country, the section is meant only for Indian feature films.
“So far, we have received about 70 entries,” says Srinivasan Narayanan, festival director. “Only movies that have not been commercially released or screened at film festivals in India are eligible for this section; that’s why the entries may be a bit limited.”
There are prizes worth Rs 15 lakhs for the section.
The five-member jury, the names of whom will be announced only later this month, will include a mix of filmmakers, technicians and film festival directors. “The final list will be ready by August 15,” says Narayanan. The last date for submission of entries is August 31.
Meanwhile, the organisers are working on picking the final list of movies that will be screened at the fest, from October 18 to 25.
“We have received about 650 DVDs as of now. There are also some films that we have selected from the Cannes Film Festival. There will be roughly 800 films this year,” says Narayanan.
One of the highlights of the centenary celebrations will be the screening of some of the only complete silent films left in India. Directed by Franz Osten and starring Bombay Talkies’ founder Himanshu Rai, Shiraz (1929) and Throw Of Dice (1929) are two of the nine films that will screened with a live 18-piece orchestra.