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The 11th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) organized by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) is back and scheduled to take place from October 29 to November 5, 2009 in Mumbai. A Reliance Big Entertainment initiative, MFF has the distinction of being the only international film festival in India to be organized by an independent body of practising film professionals.
This year MMF will honour two extremely talented filmmakers from India and abroad. Indian actor-director Shashi Kapoor will receive the Indian lifetime achievement award at the inaugural function of the Festival on October 29, 2009. A selection of his films will be screened on this occasion. Considered as one of the world's greatest living directors, Greek film-maker Angelopoulos will be presented the international lifetime achievement award in the closing ceremony of the Festival on November 5, 2009. A retrospective of his films will be organized to salute the maestro.
Divided into five sections viz. International Competition for the First Feature Films of Directors, World Cinema, Indian Showcase, Dimensions Mumbai and Retrospectives, the festival offers something to every film buff. A five member international jury will include celebrated Hollywood scriptwriter, director and Martin Scorsese's long term collaborator Paul Schrader (script writer for the cult film Taxi Driver & co-writer of Raging Bull amongst others) and eminent Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi (who has been awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for his work)
"The 11th MFF will showcase the best in contemporary Indian cinema even while it takes a look back at cinema down the ages," notes renowned filmmaker Shyam Benegal, the chair-person of MAMI. "We also want to encourage young film talent and have a forum for that. Further, our audience will be treated to the works of Shashi Kapoor and Angelopoulos, two filmmakers to be honoured with life-time achievement awards. Both have traversed a long path and made a distinctive niche for themselves in world cinema."
The 11th MFF will also organize an exhibition to commemorate and celebrate 60 years of Dev Anand's Navketan Films. A retrospective from Navketan will be screened to mark the occasion.
MFF carries some of the biggest cash awards in the world for its International Competition of First Feature Films of Directors category. These debut features will compete for the cash award of about USD 100,000 (Rs, 50, 00,000) and Golden Gateway India trophy for the best film and the Silver Gateway India and cash prize of about USD 50,000 (25, 00, 000) for the Jury Grand Prize. The best talent from these films will be given Silver Gateway India. This year MAMI is introducing a USD 20,000 Audience Choice Award (about Rs. 10, 00, 000). Films from all sections except retrospective and tributes will compete for this award.
Also on the anvil is 'Mumbai Young Critics', a brand new initiative from MAMI to encourage young film enthusiasts. 32 college students from various Mumbai colleges will be selected to form a first of its kind jury. These young jury members will vote for the film which will receive the Mumbai Young Critics Award and the Silver Gateway of India.
Finding a place at MFF is 'Dimensions Mumbai', an immensely popular short film competition organized by MAMI. The competition invites short films of up to five minutes duration from young film-makers on the theme of 'Mumbai, The Metropolis'. The films on any aspect of life in the metropolis made in any format will vie for cash awards worth Rs. 1.5 Lakh.
Fun Republic- the 4 screens multiplex at Andheri will be the central venue of the 11th MFF. Festival films will also be screened at Metro BIG Cinema and other theatres.