Jagran Film Festival: Cinema on a platter
The fascinating world of cinema throws open its doors to movie buffs with the highly anticipated Jagran Film Festival arriving in Mumbai on September 28. We bring you the details...
The most looked forward to time of the year for cinephiles is here as the sixth edition of the Jagran Film Festival (JFF) gets rolling soon. After a three-month run in 15 other cities in India, the much anticipated event will kick off on September 28 and curtains will come down on it on October 4.
A still from Guide (1965), which will be screened on October 2 as part of the 6th Jagran Film Festival in Mumbai
On the JFF menu
The Mumbai edition of the 6th Jagran Film Festival will begin with Standing Tall, which opened at the Cannes Film Festival, on September 28 at Fun Republic, Andheri. Directed by Emmanuelle Bercot, who won the Best actress award this year at Cannes, the film narrates the story of a six-year-old kid abandoned by his mother and who is constantly in and out of juvenile court, and then an adoptive family grows around this young delinquent. It is due for release in Italy on October 15 after its screening in India.
A still from Gone With The Wind (1939), which will be screened as part of the 6th Jagran Film Festival to be held from September 28 to October 4 in Mumbai
Amidst a sea of prominent Hollywood films to be screened are Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, Life Is Beautiful, The Pursuit of Happyness, Birdman, Argo, Shrew’s Nest, etc. Closer home, the movies that have picked are a mix of old and new ones — Guide, Sadak, Jeewan Mrityu, Mera Naam Joker, Maine Pyar Kiya, 3 Idiots, Omkara, PK, Haider, Badlapur, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Masaan, Bahubali, Piku, Bombay Velvet and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy.
Vikramaditya Motwane (second from right) at the special video shoot for the MAMI Film Festival
JFF would present a package of five unique films that own the prestigious European Film Academy (EFA) awards last December. The list includes Ida (Poland), The Mafia Kills Only In Summer (Italy), The Tribe (Ukraine), Two Days, One Night (Belgium) and The Dark Valley (Austria-Germany). This is the first time that EFA has partnered with any film festival in India.
A slice of Shakespeare
JFF will also showcase a collection of 12 feature films adapted from the works of Sir William Shakespeare, whose works continue to inspire generations of filmmakers and theatre directors worldwide even 400 years after his death. The section aptly titled ‘Shakespeare 400’ will highlight the relevance of the writer in the past as well as the present. Some of the noteworthy films that will be screened are Romeo and Juliet, Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Chimes At Midnight, King Lear, West Side Story, Caesar Must Die, etc. The festival, which will draw to a close on October 5, also has a short films category.
Life in a metro
The 17th Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI) Film Festival is set to begin by October end. In the run-up to it, filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane has brought together some prominent personalities to shoot a special video highlighting how Mumbai has shaped their lives. “I have been watching films at the Mumbai Film Festival from its very first edition. It has been one of my cinema teachers. And I am delighted to be assisting MAMI in its new avatar by making their registration campaign film,” says Motwane, who is also a trustee of MAMI.
Among those featuring in the video is megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who waxes eloquent about Mumbai as a city dreams. “Many of us have visited the city as tourists, but I think a lot of people who come here have some intention of either coming in touch with the movies or the people. This is why Mumbai is known as the movie capital. I am proud of the fact that the city itself is being responsive to international viewership and international content that keeps coming here as a result of MAMI,” he adds.
Chairperson of the festival, filmmaker Kiran Rao narrates her relationship with the city and says, “The first time I came here I had sort of idolised notions of filmmaking. I wasn’t sure of the kinds of film that I wanted to make and was fairly dismissive of the commercial film industry. And as the years of gone by, I have assimilated a lot of what Mumbai really is as a city, which is an inclusive city. It’s a natural choice that a film festival should happen in Mumbai. My hopes are that different kinds of filmmakers find a breeding ground that gives them some sort of support, some kind of network, some sense that their films are also appreciated.”
More to come
The International Children's Film Festival will be held between November 14 and 20 in Hyderabad this year. The Children’s Film Society of India along with the Telangana government is planning simultaneous screenings of its films and as well as those acquired from abroad in nine districts of the state. Entries include feature films, short films and for little directors, which came from 80 countries.
By November-end, the 46th International Film Festival of India will kickstart in Goa. The festival authorities are currently selecting films for screening after having received several entries from across the country and the world.
Shyam Benegal, veteran filmmaker
The idea behind a comprehensive international film festival not only brings world cinema to Mumbai, but also encourages young people to look at cinema just like they look at literature or other forms of art — with the same seriousness of purpose.
Farhan Akhtar, actor-producer
To start with, a film festival gives you exposure to the kind of cinema that you won’t normally get in your weekly release.
Nimrat Kaur, actress
Festivals provide a breeding ground for films that otherwise won’t have a platform. You get to see films from different parts of the world, made on shoestring budget, with actors you wouldn’t otherwise see in mainstream cinema. And then there are regional films too.
Aamir Khan, actor-producer
There’s something that happens in that dark theatre... you kind of get lost in that world. If the film is good, you get completely lost in that world. And I think it’s a space where your senses get titillated and your imagination is provoked.
Kangana Ranaut, actress
Cinema has the power to reach out and penetrate people’s lives. I can’t think of anything that could make an actor an important and intimate part of millions of people’s lives, in a few hours.