Mumbai Film Festival Unveils Lineup, Sets Honor for China's Jia Zhangke

I, Daniel Blake 2 - H 2016
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Cannes winner 'I, Daniel Blake' will be among the films screening.

The 18th Mumbai Film Festival will present a selection of films from overseas and India, including such titles as Ken Loach's Palme d'Or winner I, Daniel Blake, Daniel Radcliffe-starrer Swiss Army Man and Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon.

As previously reported, the opening film is Death in the Gunj, the directorial debut of Indian actress Konkona Sensharma. Following its Toronto premiere, it also will screen at Busan. The fest's closing film is still to be announced.

Mumbai will bestow its Excellence in Cinema Award on Chinese director Jia Zhangke (Mountains May Depart) and veteran Indian filmmaker Sai Paranjpye, whose credits include such classics as Chashme Buddoor.

This year's international competition jury will be headed by Portuguese helmer Miguel Gomes (Arabian Nights), with other members including Tala Hadid (The Narrow Frame of Midnight), acclaimed Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur), Hot Docs festival president Chris McDonald and producer Christine Vachon, whose credits include the Oscar-winning Boys Don't Cry.

Films competing in the section include Dog Days by Jordan Schiele, Dren Zherka's Echo and Jours de France (Four Days in France) by Jerome Reybaud, among others.

The jury for the India Gold section will be led by Turkish filmmaker Reha Erdem (Big Big World), while fellow jurors include Oscar-winning composer Mychael Danna (Life of Pi), Time magazine film critic Stephanie Zacharek, Taiwanese director-photographer Yonfan and Polish writer-director Tomasz Wasilewski (United States of Love).

The India Gold section will feature such titles as The Cinema Travellers, co-directed by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya, which received a special mention in the Golden Eye documentary award at Cannes.

Among the over 175 films screening in various sections of Mumbai's lineup, other titles include France's foreign-language film Oscar submission Elle from Paul Verhoeven and Iran's Oscar entry The Salesman from Asghar Farhadi. Also featured are such diverse documentaries as Werner Herzog's Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World and photographer-filmmaker Dilip Mehta's Mostly Sunny, a film about Sunny Leone, the former North American porn star turned Bollywood actress.

The festival will include a new award this year for the best film on gender equality, presented in association with the Oxfam India charity, while Mastercard will co-present a best Indian female filmmaker award.

Organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images, the fest's principal sponsor is telecom major Reliance Jio, along with Fox's Star India network.

The Mumbai Film Festival is set to run Oct. 20-27.