Come October 29, 15 college students from the city will live every cinema lover’s fantasy.
In the 11th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF), organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI), the chosen ones will get to watch a majority of the 200 films screened, interact with celebrity invitees and participate in seminars and master classes. Their critiques will then be published in the festival’s bulletin.
The Mumbai Young Critics, which will culminate in one worthy candidate winning an award, is fashioned in the image of the Berlinale Talent Campus, a networking platform for upcoming filmmakers conducted through lectures, panel discussions, workshops and seminars on the issues in filmmaking today. It is also one of the key highlights of the 11th MFF.
“We have introduced this forum for young people to be able to deal with cinema seriously. It is not just about reviewing films but being able to offer proper critiques,” said Shyam Benegal, chairman, MAMI.
The MFF will also host for the first time an international competition for the First Feature Films of Directors, in which the best first feature will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 50 lakh. “We have always endeavoured to showcase the best of world cinema in a given year. The films are chosen by reputation and invitation to other festivals. Ours is a full scale festival and not limited by specific profiles,” Benegal said.
The festival this year will also be attended by the directors of the world’s distinguished film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and Venice, thus enhancing its global appeal. “World cinema is no longer a matter of exotic interest. We have a 24-hour channel dedicated to it, which indicates there is a huge market for it. People know many international filmmaker and we attempt to bring down the most eminent ones as jurors chief guests,” said Benegal.