Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh will open the festival this year, while there will be a restored screening of Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy.


The Mumbai Film Festival (October 29 - November 5) has announced the line-up for this year’s edition, which will open with Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh, while Claude Lelouch’s One Plus One will close the eight-day event.

As previously leaked on social media, Selma director Ava DuVernay will head the jury for the International Competition for debut filmmakers, which includes titles such as Bi Gan’s Kaili Blues, Chloe Zhao’s Songs My Brother Taught Me, Raam Reddy’s Thithi and Jayro Bustamante’s Ixcanul Volcano.

Titles selected for the India Gold competition include Gurvinder Singh’s The Fourth Direction, Ruchika Oberoi’s Island City, Prashant Nair’s Umrika and Shlok Sharma’s Haraamkhor.

The festival is also launching several new sidebars including ‘Half Ticket’ for children’s’ films;  ‘The India Story’, showcasing India’s regional (non-Hindi) cinema; and After Dark, which will screen a selection of genre films curated by Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival artistic director Thomas Jongsuk Nam. After Dark will open with Qaushiq Mukherjee (aka Q)’s Ludo.

Among other highlights, the restored version of Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy will screen in the Restored Classics section, while the work of producer/director Chetan Anand will be showcased in a special tribute.

The World Cinema section includes titles such as Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin, Hany Abu-Assad’s The Idol, Jafar Panahi’s Taxi and Terence Davies’ Sunset Song. Excellence in Cinema awards will be presented to Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai and Indian scriptwriters Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar.

The festival was crowd-funded last year when it ran into funding difficulties but this year has brought on Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL) and STAR India as sponsors. Nita Ambani has been appointed co-chair alongside chairman Kiran Rao, while the board of trustees includes Bollywood heavyweights such as Farhan Akhtar, Karan Johar and Deepika Padukone.