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Get set for a reel bonanza with two film festivals

Two film festivals at two different parts of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region aim to change the way we look at cinema. While Sheharnama: A City / Film Festival chronicles life in Indian cities, the Navi Mumbai International Film Festival aims to put the satellite city of Navi Mumbai on the international map

Tales from Asian cities
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena Yahan, Zara Hatke, Zara Bachke Yeh Hai Bambai Meri Jaan...

These lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri on Mumbai have resonated with generations of music lovers. No wonder then, cinema, being the mirror of the society, is able to look at how cities have canvassed stories, dreams and aspirations of its dwellers. As a prelude to the 13th Mumbai International Film Festival, Citizen Rights Collective, an initiative of Action Aid, is organising a festival titled Sheharnama: A City / Film Festival.


A still from the film, Wasted

The festival will put the spotlight on waste management, people who work as house helps, labourers in metro constructions and much more. The film fest will screen several documentaries and short films from various Indian cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Madurai, Darjeeling, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Benares. The line-up includes films like Anirban Dutta’s Wasted (confronting the audience with images, treatment and philosophy on waste), Voice of the People by S Sukhdev, and Night Hawks by Uma Tanuku, among others, spanning various time periods and styles.

For Mumbaites, Mira Nair’s classic, India Cabaret, will offer insights into the debatable topic of bar dancers along with Tata Institute of Social Sciences film, Breakin’ Mumbai.

Surabhi Sharma, a filmmaker and co-curator of the festival, shares, “These films are able to push the conventional ways of looking at cinema. The genres selected are free of any baggage thrust by the market, so their narratives are filled with new ideas and imagination. But this is not to say that fiction films are not able to do the same; but frankly, these films require an independent platform to reach the audience.”

From January 30 to February 1
At Mayor’s Hall, All India Institute of Local Self Governance, Juhu Galli, Andheri (W); log on to: Sheharnama.wordpress.com

Must watch films at Sheharnama
>> Portraits of Belonging — Bhai Mian by Sameera Jain
>> Wasted by Anirban Dutta
>> India Cabaret by Mira Nair
>> Prakash Travelling Cinema by Megha Lakhani
>> Voice of the People by
S Sukhdev
>> Night Hawks by Uma Tanuku

World cinema comes to Navi Mumbai
Film festivals in Navi Mumbai have mostly been associated with college festivals, but all that is going to change from now with the Navi Mumbai International Film Festival (NMIFF) that is making its debut on January 31 in Nerul.

With reputed names like French filmmaker Marc Baschet, who made the Oscar-winning film No Man’s Land, writer-director Imtiaz Hussain (Astitva and Parinda) and actress Rohini Hattangadi on the jury list, the festival promises quality cinema to film lovers in the satellite city.


Award-winning film Titanic Love will be screened at NMIFF

Filmmaker Sachin Khanna, founder of the festival, and a resident of CBD Belapur says that the main idea behind the festival was to put Navi Mumbai on the international map. “We launched the festival in August 2013 and called for entries mainly through social media. We received a total of 300 films from 35 countries and eventually have selected 40 best films from them, which include short films and documentaries. The films are categorised into students, professional and feature films,” adds Khanna.

There are 10 films in the student category from countries like India, Australia, Germany and United Kingdom, and the rest includes professional short films, documentaries and feature films from Ukraine, Brazil, Italy, US and Kazakhstan besides India.

The residents of Navi Mumbai are abuzz with the news of the festival. Archana Pania, a Vashi resident and RJ says, “Navi Mumbai always seemed to be getting a stepmotherly treatment despite its close proximity to Mumbai and if anyone wanted to catch a film festival they would have to head to Colaba or someplace else in South Mumbai. It’s great that Navi Mumbai is having a film festival of its own.”

The festival will felicitate actor Sachin Pilgaonkar for completing 50 years in Indian Cinema.


Harald by Moritz Schneider and Chitrapatang

From January 31 to February 2, 10 am onwardsat DY Patil Auditorium,
Sector 7, Nerul. Log on to www.nmiff.in

Must watch films at NMIFF
>> Harald by Moritz Schneider (Germany)
>> PM Postmortem by Balasaheb Gore and Arun Newaskar (India)
>> Chitrapatanga by Pramod Shelar (India)
>> [tha-ki-ta-tha] by Philipp Holl (Germany)
>> Titanic Love by Mark Pressdee (UK)

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