Brad Pitt's 'Moneyball' to Open 13th Mumbai Film Festival

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Scheduled from Oct. 13-20, MFF will screen around 200 films and close with 'Dolphin Tale' starring Morgan Freeman.

NEW DELHI – The 13th Mumbai Film Festival – to be held from Oct. 13-20 – will open with the Brad Pitt starring baseball drama Moneyball, while Dolphin Tale starring Morgan Freeman will close the festival.

MFF is promoted by Reliance Entertainment along with organizers Mumbai Academy of Moving Images with this year's event featuring around 200 films under various sections. MFF's competitive sections will award $200,000 in total prize money.

Standout films from this year's program include India premieres of Melancholia directed by Lars Von Trier, The Whistle Blower starring Rachel Weisz, George Clooney’s The Ides of March and Pina directed by Wim Wenders.

This year's program was officially announced by MAMI chairman and acclaimed film-maker Shyam Benegal, MAMI trustee and Reliance Entertainment Chairman Amit Khanna and MFF director Srinivasan Narayanan.

“We are extremely proud of the fact that the Mumbai Film Festival is fast getting recognized to be the best international film festival in this country,” said Benegal in a statement.

MFF will include tributes to the late Bollywood star Shammi Kapoor (known as India's Elvis Presley), late artist M F Hussain and late director Mani Kaul.

Another highlight in this year's program is a best of Cannes Critics Week winning films which will include titles such as Valeria Gaii Guermanika’s Everybody Dies But Me, Ken Loach’s Kes, Jerzy Skolimowski’s Walkover.

Also included is a selection of debut features that have been honored with the Indian government's National Film Awards over the last 50 years that will include titles such as Adoor Gopalakirshnan’s Swayamvaram, Shyam Benegal’s Ankur and Girish Kasaravalli’s Ghatasraddha.

A spotlight on French cinema will be hosted under the special section 4me Rendez-Vous held in collaboration with Unifrance, the Embassy of France in India and the Consulate General of France in Mumbai that will screen titles such as The Snows of Kilimanjaro, The Conquest and Declaration of War. In addition, Busan International Film Festival director Lee Yong Kwan will present a selection of the latest Asian films from Busan.

Another international element at MFF just ahead of the opening is an Indo-German Script Development Workshop scheduled from Oct. 11-13 where speakers will include directors Dani Levy, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Thorsten Schulz and screenwriters Anjum Rajabali and Sooni Taraporevala.

 As in the past, MFF will include a lifetime achievement award which will be conferred this year on acclaimed poet, lyricist, script writer and director Gulzar.

The MFF international competition jury will be headed by Chariots of Fire director Hugh Hudson (who will also host a special master class on film direction) while other members include director Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies), Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski (The Shout) and Korean director Na Hong-Jin (The Chaser and The Yellow Sea).

A film retrospective of Hudson’s works will also be screened including Revolution Revisited and I Dreamed of Africa.

Last year's MFF jury was headed by Jane Campion while Oliver Stone was honored with a special lifetime achievement award.

MFF will also return with the Mumbai Film Mart – launched last year as the festival's B2B section – which will see confirmed attendance from the likes of Shochiku Co Ltd., Wild Bunch, Wide Management, Rapid Eye Movies HE GmbH, HanWay Films, Nikkatsu Corp and IM Global.

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