October's end features two festivals in India

Osian's Cinefan, Mumbai Film Festival serve different groups

NEW DELHI -- Film buffs in New Delhi and Mumbai will be treated to two major festivals starting this month. The 11th Osian's Cinefan festival runs October 24-30 in New Delhi focusing on contemporary, Indian, Asian and Arab cinema, while the 11th Mumbai Film Festival will be held from October 29 – November 5 offering a selection of world and Indian cinema.

Cinefan, organized by Mumbai-based arts promoter Osian's, will open with Romania's “Hooked” by Adrian Sitaru and close with Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman's animated war documentary “Waltz With Bashir.” Cinefan will offer over 100 films, with a jury largely comprised of academics, artists and film personalities such as Suresh Jindal (associate producer for “Gandhi”), with veteran filmmaker Mani Kaul serving as festival director.

With India being this year's focus, Cinefan will include a special exhibiton on the history of Indian cinema, featuring rare memorabilia such as posters and lobby cards, among others. The “Newstream Cinema” section will focus on emerging Indian directors whose recent offbeat films -  such as “Kaminey” (Treacherous) by Vishal Bharadwaj - have carved a niche distinct from Bollywood's formulaic fare.

The Mumbai Film Festival, organized by independent body Mumbai Academy of Moving Images will offer 200 films from 56 countries, opening with Steven Soderbergh's “The Informant,” starring Matt Damon.

Veteran Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos's review of the past century, “The Dust of Time” will be the closing film, while the festival will also honor Angelopoulos with a lifetime achievement award. Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor will be honored with the Indian Lifetime Achievement Award along with legendary Indian director-producer Yash Chopra who will be feted by the International Federation of Film Producers Association. Honorees also include iconic actor Amitabh Bachchan, whose 40-year film career will be celebrated during the closing festivities.

MFF jury members include Hollywood screenwriter/director Paul Schrader (who will also be given a special honor), Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, Philippine filmmaker Brillante Mendoza, Indian filmmaker Shaji N. Karun and former director of the Locarno Film Festival Irene Bignardi.

MFF will offer various cash awards for categories including the International Competition for Directors who are debuting feature films, with a prize of US$ 100,000. Additional awards include the Golden Gateway of India trophy for the best film, the Silver Gateway of India trophy and a cash prize of USD $50,000 for the Jury Grand Prize. Also offered is the Audience Choice Award with a cash prize of $20,000.

MAMI is led by its chairman, veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, along with trustees including Chopra, actress Jaya Bachchan and DreamWorks's partner Reliance Big Entertainment chairman Amit Khanna.
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