The International Film Festival of Mumbai has changed its dates and introduced a series of cash prizes totalling $200,000.

Organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), the festival has traditionally been held in February but this year will take place October 29 to November 5.

It has also introduced a cash prize of $100,000 for best film, a grand jury prize of $50,000 and an audience choice award of $20,000.

The programme is divided into five sections: an international competition for first-time feature directors, World Cinema, Indian Showcase, Mumbai Dimensions and Retrospectives. The festival will also introduce a Mumbai Young Critics initiative in which 32 students will present an award to a film of their choice.

“We first shifted the festival from March to February to avoid exam season. But when we were unable to get confirmations from celebrities from India and abroad after the November 26 attacks, we decided to shift the festival to October,” said festival director Srinivasan Narayanan.

“We are now pitching MAMI at a higher level in terms of jury members, films and invitees and the first step is to establish ourselves as the premier Asian film festival.”

MAMI will now precede the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) which takes place in Goa in the third week of November. Osian’s has recently shifted its annual Cinefan film festival held in Delhi from July to October 24-30.