Jagran Film Festival is finally in town. The much-travelled event is currently in its fourth edition and is taking place in Mumbai for the first time. The inauguration turned out to be popular -- in fact way too popular for the security guards to handle -- and the evening was graced by Bollywood biggies as well as cinephiles.
Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur were the chief guests from B-Town. Both of them, along with Vikas Joshi (MD and CEO, Jagran) and Vinod Srivastava (GM, Jagran) lighted the diya, signalling the commencement of the event. In his address to the audience, Mr Khiladi highlighted the importance of having film festivals in the city as well as the significance of maintaining free screenings. Nimrat too added her bit to the excitement.
From the political end, mayor Sunil Prabhu was also present.
Later, the jury was invited on the stage by compere Atul Tiwari. The jury members for the Indian Showcase segment (Feature Competition) are filmmaker Basu Chatterjee, actress-producer Aditi Ninad Deshpande, cinematographer Raamachandraah, editor Suresh Pai and theatre personality Feroz Abbas Khan. Similarly, the jury for the Jagran Shorts was asked to step on the platform. They are French actress Dorothy Briere, director N Chandra, CEO of Rajshri Media, Rajjat A Barjatya.
The Israeli-Palestinian project Water marked the opening of the overall fest. Though it wasn’t the only movie showcased last night, the screening garnered the maximum number of eyeballs. After all, it was the Asian premiere of the film and the buzz helped in its favour.
Moreover, the 120-minute feature was born out of a unique cinematic cooperation between filmmakers belonging to conflict zones. Interestingly enough, the film is helmed by nine directors from Israel and Palestine: Yael Perlov, Nir Sa’ar, Maya Sarfaty, Mohammad Fuad, Yona Rezenkier, Mohammad Bakri, Ahmad Barghouti, Pini Tavger and Tal Haring, all of whom were present at the occasion.
Other films screened at the opening day included Haco Cheko’s 72 minute Turkish film Nowhere Li Vir, Sanjay Jadhav’s Duniyadari and Kundan Shah’s classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. All three witnessed reasonable crowd but the Marathi film had the maximum footfall.
The festival has just started. There’s much more to come in the following five days.