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Zhang Yimou honoured at opening of Mumbai film festival

The 14th Mumbai film festival opened last night (Oct 18) with a screening of Silver Linings Playbook and the presentation of the lifetime achievement award to Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou.

Zhang received the award from Tina Ambani, patron of the festival and wife of Reliance ADA Group chairman Anil Ambani. Reliance backs the festival which is organised by the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI).

“I have always believed that cinema is a bridge between cultures,” said Zhang whilst receiving the award. “I thank MAMI for appreciating my efforts and acknowledging my small contribution towards cinema.”

Anil Kapoor also appeared on stage to introduce fellow Indian actor Anupam Kher, who is also forging a career internationally; he plays Bradley Cooper’s therapist in Silver Linings Playbook. Cooper sent his regards to the festival via a video message.

Other stars attending the opening ceremony included actress Sridevi, who performed the traditional lighting of the lamp ceremony with festival trustees and filmmakers Jaya Bachchan, Ashutosh Gowarikar and Ramesh Sippy.

The festival is being held at new venues this year - the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Inox multiplex and Liberty Cinema in south Mumbai. Satellite screenings are also being held at Cinemax Andheri and Cinemax Sion. The Mumbai Film Mart gets underway today (Oct 19) at the Trident Hotel.

In addition to the International Competition, the festival features three other competition sections - India Gold 2012, Dimensions Mumbai and Celebrate Age.

The International Competition jury is headed by Andy Tennant and also includes Korean director Im Sang-soo, Indian actor Rahul Bose, French editor Pascale Chavance and Brazilian filmmaker Sergio Machado.

Producer Gary Kurtz heads the India Gold 2012 jury, which also includes the Tribeca Film Festival’s Geoff Gilmore, Cannes’ Christian Jeune, US DoP Declan Quinn and Australian filmmaker Julia Leigh.

The festival wraps on Oct 25 with the screening of Spanish director Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves.

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