Bandits, produced by Indian-born producer Ashok Amritraj, is to open the International film festival of Mumbai on 21 November.
Amritraj will be the chief attraction at the three year old festival which will also screen a total of 30 feature films as part of the Indian Panorama, including this year's blockbuster Lagaan. The films had been selected by an independent 13-member jury headed by renowned Indian film maker Shaji Karun for the 32nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Bangalore, which had been cancelled in view of the severe drought in Karnataka.
The Indian features selected include six in Hindi; five in Bengali; four each in Malayalam, Kannada and Tamil; two each in English, Marathi and Telugu; and one in Haryanvi. Sudhir Nandgaonkar the Festival Director of the IFFM 2001 told Screen International that apart from the panorama films, international films from 32 countries would also be screened including Merchant Ivory's Mystic Masseur and Mira Nair's Moonsoon Wedding.
Bandits, which is directed by Barry Levinson with an ensemble cast including Bruce Willis and Cate Blanchett, opened weakly in the US in mid-October, garnering $13.6m on its opening weekend. It is set as one of the big galas of the forthcoming Regus London Film Festival, but Willis has decided not to attend citing family reasons.