Documentary films shot on mobile phones, a growing genre, will debut at the 11th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival (MIFF) next February.
Speaking to reporters Friday during a media interaction at the IFFI-2009, festival director Kuldeep Sinha said that mobile phones represent the future of documentary films and the forthcoming MIFF would serve as a perfect barometer to gauge the popularity of the medium.
"There is a growing demand for films shot on mobile phone. We wanted to create an infrastructure for such films. The next film festival will have a full fledged section catering to this category of films," Sinha said.
"The field of short films and documentaries was once a pond, but it has now become an ocean with the advent of digital technology and mobile phones," he added.
The MIFF will be held Feb 3-9 at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai.
Sinha said MIFF would also comprise of a special, newly introduced prize for students, where the best film shot by a student would be eligible for a prize.
"There are so many students coming up with their films. Although there is no special category for students yet, but any film shot by a student from any category is eligible for the prize," he said.
MIFF has attracted nearly 864 entries from over 37 countries this time, as compared to the 730 entries received last year, which Sinha said indicated the growing popularity of the festival which is held every two years.
Sinha also said that MIFF, which began in 1990, was currently rated as the world's best and largest documentary film festival.
Retrospective and special packages, jury retrospectives, women oriented packages, Oscar nominated films, films on cinema legends, a segment on unsung heroes are some of the packages which will be screened as part of the festival, Sinha said.