The 9th edition of the International Film Festival of Mumbai (IFFM) organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI) will open with Zhang Yimou's The Curse of the Golden Flower on March 8.

The week-long festival, presented by Adlabs, will close on March 15 with Mira Nair's The Namesake.

About 100 films from 32 countries will be screened. The competitive festival has a prize for best Indian film adjudicated by an international jury led by filmmaker Girish Karnad. Twelve Indian films in different languages will compete for this prize. There is also a FIPRESCI award at IFFM.

The highlights of the festival include a special package of 11 Spanish films, six films from Hungary and seven films from South Africa. Among the special awards to be presented are the Global Icon award to actor Amitabh Bachchan, the lifetime achievement award to lyricist Javed Akhtar and Significan Contribution to Cinema over 25 Years to filmmaker Aparna Sen.

'We have an excellent set of films this year. IFFM is becoming a truly international film festival. We have stability in terms of our sponsor now, so the only way is up,' said MAMI chairman Shyam Benegal.

Manmohan Shetty of Adlabs said he was pleased to be associated with IFFM. 'We would like to continue our association. My only condition to the festival director was the films should not have been seen at any other festival in India.' Festival director Sudhir Nandgaonkar assured that 80% of the films were different from the Goa International Film Festival of India.