Mumbai Fest: Mexico's 'La Jaula De Oro' Wins Top Award

MUMBAI – The 15th Mumbai Film Festival concluded Thursday evening with Mexican film La Jaula De Oro (The Golden Cage) winning the top honor of the Golden Gateway of India award in the international competition section for the best film from a debut director. The film – revolving around three young men trying to immigrate to the U.S. from Guatemala– is directed by Diego Quemada-Diez and produced by Inna Payan, Luis Salinas and Edher Campos.

Salinas received the award from the international competition jury head, director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy). This is the second year in a row that a Mexican film has won the top honor at MFF, after last year's Aquí Y Alla (Here And There) -- also revolving around immigration -- by director Antonio Méndez Esparza triumphed.

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India's Fandry picked up the jury Grand Prize, the Silver Gateway of India trophy in the same category. Directed by Nagraj Manjule, the much acclaimed Fandry revolves around an inter-caste star-crossed love affair. After his heartfelt acceptance speech -- in which he thanked the audience for making the film one of the festival's favorites -- Manjule also invited the film's principal cast and crew, including producers Vivek Kajaria and Nilesh Navlakha, onstage to a thunderous applause from the audience.

Singapore's Ilo Ilo saw its director Anthony Chen winning best director, while the film's Yann Yann Yeo won best actress. At Cannes this year, Ilo Ilo became the first film from Singapore -- also the country's official entry to the Oscars -- to win the Camera d'Or.

The Silver Gateway of India Trophy for best actor was awarded to Vincent Macaigne for his role in French drama Tonnerre.

Best cinematography was picked up by Andrew Commis for The Rocket, written and directed by Kim Mordaunt. Set in Laos and revolving around a young boy who is blamed for bringing bad luck, the film is also Australia's official entry to the Oscars.

The Mumbai Young Critics Jury Award for best film was awarded to Voice of the Voiceless directed by Maximon Monihan.

The Harmony Celebrate Age Jury, headed by Indian director Hansal Mehta, awarded best film to Chilean-Spanish drama Gloria, directed by Sebastian Lelio.

FILM REVIEW: The Golden Cage (La Jaula de oro)

The India Gold section jury -- headed by acclaimed Iranian director Asghar Farhadi with other members including editor Jill Bilcock (Moulin Rouge) -- awarded best film to Katiyabaaz (Powerless) directed by Deepti Kakkar and Farhad Mustafa.

Director Anup Singh's Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost – starring Irrfan Khan and actress Tisca Chopra, which is set against the backdrop of the partition of India and Pakistan -- won second best film. Manju Borah’s Ko:Yad (A Silent Way) received the special jury award.

The festival's Dimensions Mumbai section -- featuring directors below the age of 25 making films about the city -- gave Keyur Kajavadra’s In This City best film, while Akshay Dhanavale's Mumbaicha Vada Pav won second-best film.

With the festival screening over 200 films from 65 countries, MFF -- which ran from Oct. 17-24 -- concluded with The Fifth Estate by Bill Condon.

MFF is organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images and presented by Reliance Entertainment. Among the other sessions, MFF also included a presentation by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Science and Technology Council.

The council's director Andy Maltz and the Digital Motion Picture Archive project lead Milton Shefter presented a session on AMPAS' report "The Digital Dilemma." A local language version of the report – in Marathi – was also launched here.