Mumbai Film Festival Sees Record Crowds for 20th Anniversary Edition

Courtesy of Mumbai Film Festival
Heaving queues at the Mumbai Film Festival

Festivalgoers waited upwards of five hours to catch titles such as Hirokazu Kore-eda's 'Shoplifters,' Alfonso Cuaron's 'Roma' and Iranian director Jafar Panahi's '3 Faces.'

As the Mumbai Film Festival draws to a close Thursday, festival organizers are already toasting record crowds for its 20th anniversary edition.  

While final attendance figures are still to come, the event has already exceeded attendance records with one day yet to go. An official from fest organizer Mumbai Academy of Moving Images on Tuesday told The Hollywood Reporter that over 13,000 people already had attended this year, surpassing last year's figure of 10,000. 

A strong program that contained some of the buzziest titles from this year's international festival circuit helped draw the crowds. Festgoers reported that they queued for several hours for titles such as Hirokazu Kore-eda's Shoplifters, Alfonso Cuaron's Roma and Iranian director Jafar Panahi's 3 Faces, and some waited a full day to see Gaspar Noe's Climax. 

Beyond films, a master class with director Darren Aronofsky drew a packed house at the Liberty Theater in South Mumbai, one of the city's last surviving art deco theaters, which has a seating capacity of about 1,200.

The festival will conclude Thursday with a master class with jury head Sean Baker (The Florida Project) and several screenings of the closing film Widows, directed by Steve McQueen.