14th MIFF - The Mumbai International Film Festival opens with a burst of life

A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature

14th MIFF, The Mumbai International Film Festival Opens with a burst of life!

The Mumbai International Film Festival for short films, documentaries and animation opened on 28 January, Thursday, in the presence of Devendra Fadnavis, CM, Maharashtra, Vinod Tawde, Minister of Culture, Col Rajyavardhan Rathore, Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, and Shyam Benegal.
The brand ambassador for MIFF, Jackie Shroff was present in the inauguration. The opening film Cherub of the Mist by Naresh Bedi was followed by  the short film The Second Wind and the animation The Present.

Naresh Bedi, the veteran wildlife photographer and filmmaker, was awarded with the prestigious Shantaram Award for a lifetime achievement in wildlife documentary. Naresh, the elder of the Bedi brothers is an FTII gold medalist,, and the first Asian to have grabbed the Widescreen Red Panda Award. The opening film, shot by him, curiously involves the life of two red pandas.

Col Rathore promised a DD channel, probably Bharti, to be converted to a dedicated platform for documentaries. He said, with the wake of digital technology, filmmaking has opened up to a new generation of artists and communicators from all kinds of background.

Among other interesting promises was the one made by the Chief Minister himself. He said that Maharashtra Government has a school for documentaries and animation in mind, and that the land for this would be allotted in the FIlm City, Mumbai.

MIFF, 2016, a biannual event, hosts an International Competition featuring 30 films, including 12 from India; and 27 films in National Competition for the Golden Conch Award. The festival would show a total of 385 films over the 6 day event, from 28 January - 3 February.

Besides the International and National Competition, MIFF screens films in different sections such as MIFF Prism, Indian Premiers, Jury retrospectives, Animation and award winning films from different countries, Children's documentary films, North East package, FD and PSBT productions etc.

MIFF, 2016, presents a special packages from international documentary circuits such as Berlin, Dresden, DoKLeipzig from Germany, and Leiria from Portugal.

Some of the noted documentaries of 2015, such as Among the Believers (directed by Mohammad Ali Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi) - on the roots of extreme religious sentiments in Pakistan, and Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence - on the Indonesian killings of 1965-66, and Rinku Kalsy's For the Love of a Man - on Rajinikanth's almost religious fandom in South India.

The International Jury for the Festival includes documentary filmmakers Don Askarian from Germany, Jesper Andersen from Denmark, Mathiue Roy from Canada, Siddharth Kak and Gitanjali Rao.

National Competition Jury consist of Mike Pandey, Uma DaCunha, Biju Dhanapalan, Audrius Stonys from Lithuania, and Jane Yu from Taiwan.

The festival would host masterclasses, camera and digital workshops, Producers' Forum, Panel discussions, Seminar and Open Forum by IDPA.

Cash prizes worth Rs 60 lakhs would be distributed in various categories, along with the Golden Conch Award.

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