Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Call for Entries!

16th Mumbai Film Festival 2014, October 14 to 21

Organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI)

Eligible for submission - Films made after November 1, 2013 Deadline August 2.

Official Sections

International Competition for the First Feature Films of Directors - films made within one calendar year from the date of upcoming festival can participate and compete for cash awards amounting to USD 200,000.

Above the Cut - First feature films of directors which could not be accommodated in the International Competition for the First Films of Directors.

World Cinema - Award winning and critically acclaimed films screened in other film festivals are invited for this section.

India Gold 2014 is a competition section for Indian feature films. Films by Indian film makers made within one calendar year from the date of upcoming Festival can participate in this competition.

Only films which have not been screened in India will only be considered for this competition. Awards Golden Gateway trophy plus cash prize of Rupees 10 lakh for the Best Film and Silver Gateway trophy plus cash prize of Rupees 5 lakh for Second Best Film.

New Faces in Indian Cinema is a non-competitive section which will screen first and second feature films of the Indian directors and aims to provide a promotional platform to young emerging Indian filmmakers.

Film India Worldwide is part of the non-competitive section of the festival World Cinema segment. This section screens films by filmmakers of Indian origin and / or about the people of Indian origin living across the world, the films which showcase concerns of the community and the cultural cross roads they inhabit.

Feature length films produced after October 31st, 2013 are invited from all over the world to participate in this non-competitive format.

The Real Reel - Aims to showcase award winning and critically acclaimed feature length documentaries which carry strong opinions on issues concerning our social lives, human nature and many other topics. The documentaries produced after October 31st, 2013 are invited from all over the world to participate in this non-competitive format.

Dimensions Mumbai Short Film Competition - open to young Mumbaikars below the age of 25 years.

Harmony – Celebrate Age competition will showcase short fiction films, short documentaries, feature length fiction films and documentaries on the concerns, spice, fun and adventure of growing older. The Best Film will get a cash award of Rupees 50,000, the Second Prize winner will be awarded Rupees 25,000.

Submission of a film must be made on the official Festival entry form, duly completed and sent with a preview screener (DVD PAL – all region), synopsis and the complete cast and credits.

Email : info@mumbaifilmfest.com, mumbaifilmfest@gmail.com

For regulations and submission, visit www.mumbaifilmfest.com

Tongues Of Fire! Indian Film Festivals Abroad

Sun June 22, 2014

The rise and shine of Indian film festivals abroad

Arriving in London, I found that there are two somewhat allied film festivals that were running almost back to back, both placing Indian cinema on a pedestal. One did so within an Asian canvas and the other was exclusively Indian.

‘Tongues of Fire’ presented its renamed The London Asian Film Festival (LAFF) over June 1 to 14. The festival, now in its 16th year, is spear-headed by its founder/director Dr Pushpinder Choudhary. LAFF opened with Nagesh Kukunoor’s Lakshmi, on a real-life case of child abuse and prostitution in Hyderabad with the director present. Kuku later conducted a Master Class. LAFF paid tribute to two great filmmakers who passed away recently. One was to Yash Chopra. His wife Pam Chopra attended and chaired a discussion on her legendary husband. The other was on the reputed filmmaker from Bengal, Rituparno Ghosh. Several recent films from India were screened.

caryAlmost a month later, London is paying host to a newer festival pertaining only to India. The London Indian Film Festival is the brainchild of Cary Rajinder Sawhney, a familiar figure in Indian film circles. He is part Indian, born and raised in the UK, but spends a lot of time in India boning up on his decades of research into Indian films. Like so many NRIs, he also spends time with his family in Delhi. An aside here: NRI is somehow a discomfiting acronym suggesting an exile from one’s country of birth – as is Bollywood , an umbrella term for all of Indian cinema, when it is just a segment, in numbers and genre, of India’s film production.

Cary’s background in cinema is rich and varied. He worked for the British Film Institute at one time, and then became a film programmer covering Indian and Asian cinema for the London International Film Festival, which he does to this day. He is also a filmmaker of shorts films, who is now embarking on his first feature. His debut work Looking For You (2009, 12 mins, a mystery romance on a reincarnation theme set in London),screened at 12 international festivals, his short film Khanna (2012) won the Future Filmmaker Award at Palm Springs Short Film Festival (2012) and Best Short Award at New York Indian Film Festival (2013).

Five years ago, Cary decided to launch his own London Indian Film Festival (LIFF). He runs this annual event ( held this year over July 10 to 17) as executive and programming director, assisted by writer/journalist Naman Ramachandan and a dedicated team, in which I am involved as well as founder-advisor.

The highlights of LIFF, 2014 are ‘A Conversation with Farhan Akhtar’ , ‘Master Class by cinematographer Santosh Sivan’ and a rare appearance by Nana Patekar, lead actor in the closing Marathi film, Hemalkasa, directed by Samruddhi Porey. The film presents an inspiring insight into the life of the revered Magsaysay Award winner, Baba Amte. LIFF will open with the Emma Thompson-produced UK film Sold, directed by Jeffrey Brown on child prostitution fed into Kolkata from Nepal.

Film festivals exclusive to Indian films began sporadically about fifteen to twenty years ago. They were regarded as a niche event catering to an ethnic audience’s nostalgia for a former homeland. Today, dozens of Indian film festivals dot the world, more emerging each year, besides the many Asian ones in which India plays a major role. They are attended by an increasingly mixed audience where Indians are often outnumbered. These festivals are valued by Indian filmmakers because they give a solus position to the cinema emanating from India, and also as prized venues which help them gain international goals.

In earlier years, press conferences offered the only opportunity for a festival audience to interface with the filmmaker. Today, the Indian film festivals provide larger platforms of Master classes held by Indian filmmakers, or Conversations by leading film personalities (last year at LIFF it was Irrfan Khan who regaled his audience as he talked to filmmaker Asif Kapadia (whose film The Warrior launched Irrfan on the international scene).

Now, films are often introduced by leading names in the film industry. The question/answer sessions after each film are a major draw. There are also days set aside for filmmakers to meet leading local film professionals who guide them on on structuring their production costs on a new film and also on making advance inroads into foreign markets. At times, authors can present their latest books on Indian cinema.

Courtesy: http://thecitizen.in/ - India's first independent on-line daily which was launched on January 27, 2014.reproducing Uma da Cunha's column