Mumbai International Film Festival inaugurates 

Mumbai International Film Festival

Mumbai International Film Festival: Setting the stage for a week of cinematic excellence, the 18th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF-2024) for Documentary, Short Fiction, and Animation films was inaugurated today by Dr. L. Murugan, Union Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Government of India. Also present on the occasion was Shri. Sudhir Mungantiwar, Culture Minister, Government of Maharashtra.

The vibrant and dazzling opening ceremony took place at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai. Organized biennially, by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and executed by, National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), this prestigious event promises an enriching experience for filmmakers, industry professionals, and cinema enthusiasts alike. This year MIFF is spreading its wings with simultaneous screenings and red carpet events across five Indian cities. The seven daylong festival will bring the magic of world-class parallel cinema closer to film enthusiasts across India.

Delivering his inaugural address, Dr. L. Murugan, Union Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting said that considering the growing potential of AVG sector in creating employment and generating growth, the government will soon create a Centre for Excellence in AVGC sector in Mumbai. The minister emphasized government’s efforts in controlling piracy in the country by bringing forth an amendment in Cinematograph act.

Underlining MIFF’s role in bringing together filmmakers from all over the world, Dr. L. Murugan said that documentary films play a vital role in showcasing the unique abilities, emotions and human bonds in a true and natural way. He also highlighted the efforts made by India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make our country a content hub of the world.

A single window system for film facilitation is introduced so that film producers can get easy access and permissions to shoot in India. Right from Himalayas, Western Ghats, Nilgiris, beaches and ancient temples, we have beautiful locations for shooting films in India. The Government is providing many incentives to foreign film producers and companies to encourage shooting in India”, he added. Dr. L. Murugan also congratulated Subbiah Nallamuthu, for winning V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

At the opening ceremony, renowned award-winning Wildlife filmmaker Shri Subbiah Nallamuthu, was conferred upon with the coveted V. Shantaram, Lifetime Achievement Award for this year. Dr. L. Murugan, Union Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting along with Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, Culture Minister, Government of Maharashtra presented the award.

The prestigious Dr. V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award is presented in every edition of MIFF to a filmmaker for seminal contribution to documentary films and its movement in India. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 10 lakhs, trophy and a citation. This award is instituted in memory of legendary filmmaker V Shantaram, who was closely associated with Films Division as Honorary Chief Producer during the 1950s. Shri Subbiah Nallamuthu dedicated the award to his parents and family who supported him throughout his film making journey.

On the occasion, Jury members for MIFF International Competition, National Competition and FIPRESCI – Keiko Bang, Barthélemy Fougea, Audrius Stonys, Bharat Bala, Manas Choudhary, Adele Seelmann-Eggebert, Dr Bobby Sarma Baruah, Apoorva Bakshi, Munjal Shroff, Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck and Meghachandra Kongbam were felicitated.

The ceremony also paid tribute to masters of Indian parallel cinema and art with a homage film. Journey of Mumbai International Film Festival through the ages was also remembered with an audio visual film treat. The trailer of ‘Azadi ki Amrit Kahaniyan’, a public service awareness film made by Netflix to tell the story of India’s social innovators, was also released at the function.

Earlier, festival screenings started rolling off with the India premiere of National Geographic\’s documentary, “Billy & Molly, an Otter Love Story” directed by Charlie Hamilton James. The film explored the boundless depths of love and the profound bond between human beings and nature.

The gala inaui ceremony was also graced by the presence of celebrities like Madhur Bhandarkar, Richie Mehta, Anand L Rai, Divya Dutta, Randeep Hooda, Abhishek Bannerjee, Sonali Kulkarni, Divyendu, Sharad Kelkar, Taha Shah, Rahul Rawail, Suraj Thakur, Vinit Singh, Avinash Tiwary, Kailash Kher, Upasana, Pankaj Jha, Saurab Sachdeva and Adil Hussain.

The mesmerizing opening ceremony witnessed an artistic melange of cultural acts which included an act depicting the journey of Indian animation, a cultural performance from Sri-Lanka, a captivating 15-minute journey through the history of Indian animation, presented by Krazzy Kings Dance Crew, a powerful performance by V Company, India\’s first Dancing Iconsand and screening of the FTII student short Film “Sunflowers were the first ones to know”, which won the La Cinef Award at the 77th Cannes Film Festival this year.

Shri Prithul Kumar, Festival Director, MIFF and Managing Director, NFDC concluded the ceremony with a vote of thanks.