The 11th annual Mumbai Film Festival (Oct 29-Nov 5) will open with a screening of Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! and close with The Dust Of Time, from Greek master Theo Angelopoulos.
The festival, which is backed by Reliance Big Entertainment for the first time this year, plans to showcase 200 films from 56 countries. All the international films screened in the main sections will be Indian, Asian or world premieres.
Thirteen features by first-time directors from across the world will compete for cash awards worth a combined $150,000 in the main competition section.
The five-member jury includes US director and screenwriter Paul Schrader; Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi (if he secures a visa to leave Iran); director Brillante Mendoza from the Philippines; Indian filmmaker Shaji N. Karun, and the former director of the Locarno Film Festival, Irene Bignardi.
Other sections include Indian Frame, which will showcase 15 Indian films made over the past year; Reel Real for feature length documentaries and the World Cinema section.
Veteran Indian actor and producer Shashi Kapoor will be honoured with the Indian Lifetime Achievement Award, while Angelopoulos will receive the International Lifetime Achievement Award.
India’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Ambika Soni, will be the chief guest at the opening ceremony. Producer Yash Chopra and star Amitabh Bachchan will be celebrated during the closing festivities on November 5.
The festival will also pay tribute to the late legendary filmmaker B. R. Chopra with a screening his film Naya Daur.
In the first step towards setting up a film market, the Mumbai Film Festival is introducing the Film Business Centre, to provide a networking platform for local producers and distributors, overseas sales agents and festival directors.