Zee Cinema will present the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images’ (MAMI) 8th International Film Festival Mumbai (IFFM) (to be held from March 23-30, 2006) in association with Adlabs and co-sponsored by Zee Studio and DNA After Hours.
The Zee Group has committed to support the film festival for the next three years. Supported by the Government of Maharashtra, the co-organisers include Y B Chavan Prathisthan, the National Film Development Corporation and IMAX Adlabs (Wadala, Mumbai). This was announced by a high-powered committee comprising veteran filmmaker and Chairperson of the MAMI Committee Shyam Benegal; bureaucrat Govind Swarup (Managing Trustee, MAMI); film producer-distributor and exhibitor, Kiran Shantaram (Managing Trustee, MAMI); Sudhir Nandgaonkar (Festival Director and curator of the MAMI film festival); and TV business head honcho Bharat Ranga from the sponsor’s side.
Giving the sponsor’s view, Zee Group’s Bharat Ranga said, “We have committed ourselves to three years of sponsorship to the MAMI IFFM. As a media house with diverse interests, we shall leave no stone unturned to support the festival. We shall also back a festival that is supported by some of India’s greatest minds in the entertainment domain. As sponsors, we see a commonality of purpose with the organisers of the MAMI film festival.”
The seven-day festival will showcase 100 films from 38 participating countries. French filmmaker Christophe Barratier’s ‘Chorus’ will open the festival, which will be held at the IMAX Adlabs multiplex on March 23. Deepa Mehta’s ‘Water’ has been chosen as the closing film, which will be held at Y B Chavan centre in south Mumbai.
James Ivory’s ‘The White Countess’ will be screened as the center-piece. The festival will feature a first-ever workshop one of Bollywood’s greatest icon, Amitabh Bachchan. It will showcase a documentary made by veteran ad and feature filmmaker Ram Madhvani. This documentary, which has an international look and feel, was specially made to be showcased during Big B’s retrospective shown at the Lincoln Centre, New York along with 12 of his greatest films.
The MAMI IFFM ’06 will confer the ‘Life Time Achievement Award’ to veteran film-maker Yash Chopra; the ‘Significant Contribution to Hindi Film Music Award’ to veteran music composer Khayyam; the ‘Kodak award for Technical Excellence’ to camera wizard Ashok Mehta; and the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Hindi Cinema over 25 years’ to actor Anil Kapoor. The three-member international critics jury that will award prizes to Indian films include luminaries such as Barbara Lorey (France), Aijaz Gul (Pakistan) and Utpal Borpujari (India).
Commenting on film fest, Benegal said, “The MAMI international film festival has become an intrinsic part of the city’s cultural landscape. It has continued to exist – eight times in 10 years – due to the patronage of the ‘friends of this festival’, most of whom are doing this great work on a voluntary basis. In states such as West Bengal and Kerala, the local film festivals are being run and funded by the state government. At MAMI’s IFFM 2006, connoisseurs will get to see the best of world cinema, films that they don’t normally see, from countries such as Serbia, Mexico, Spain, Israel, Iran and Palestine among others. They will experience the power of cinema and discover the passion of artistes, who make films under trying circumstances.”
The Indian Vista will showcase recently released and unreleased films in various Indian languages such as Assamese, Malayalam, Bengali, Hindi and Marathi among others.
Swarup added, “MAMI’s film festival is run by a voluntary organisation. We have been trying to avoid the commercialisation of the international film festival in Mumbai. Getting sponsorships is not a problem, but we don’t want to compromise on the core aspects of the festival. We want to retain the texture and serenity of the same without bending down to demands of the sponsors.”
Said Kiran Shantaram, the festival had received some support from the Government of Maharashtra. The organisers are approaching companies such as Indian Oil Corporation and MTNL for sponsorships. He also expressed his gratitude to Manmohan Shetty of Adlabs for his support.