October 28, 2012

Mumbai 2012: Epilogue

It was my fourth year at Mumbai Film Festival, and I have to admit that it was the best organized I have seen. The 1100-seat beautiful auditorium at NCPA was the perfect Main Venue. And there were six more screens (at NCPA and Inox, Nariman Point) at a walking distance. I also liked what Inox did to effectively manage the crowd – they required you to collect tickets for each movie that you wanted to see, against your festival pass. It helped us as we didn’t have to stand in long queues for hours. Another venue, not far from there, was the Liberty theater, a beautiful 700-seat auditorium with its old-world charm intact for the classics that were screened there. Travelling all the way to South Mumbai did cost me some sleep, but I think it was worth it. For two days, out of seven, I attended the screenings at Cinemax Versova, which is a 15-minute auto ride from my place. Overall, I think for the first time the organizers have implemented the learning of past experiences into successfully managing the festival.

With each passing year, the number of people I know in this city is increasing. So, the festival each year is getting a better place to hang out with them. There are some whom you meet only annually, during this week, and that familiarity makes things more eventful for you.

The best thing about any film festival is obviously the movies. I’m satisfied this time, having watched 31 movies from more than fourteen countries in seven days. It included the latest works of legends like Abbas Kiarostami, Ken Loach, Bernardo Bertolucci, Michael Haneke, and Takashi Kitano, the top award winners at Sundance and Cannes this year, and also the official Oscar entries of Spain, Austria, Uruguay, Netherlands, and Romania.

Classics like ‘Sunrise: a Song of Two Humans’, ‘The Leopard’, ‘Umberto D’, ‘Accattone’, ‘Two for the Road’, and ‘Laura’ completed the experience, and the icing on the cake was the Live Orchestra that performed with the silent Indo-German classic – ‘A Throw of Dice’.

All this year, I have not been able to watch as many movies as I normally do. Thanks to this fest, my annual score is now decent. The greed, however, is never satisfied, the thirst remains unquenchable. I hope it remains the same even after fifty such festivals – annual rituals when the celebration of cinema adopts a maddening, intoxicating fervor, and you feel like a kid in the best amusement park man has ever created.


  1. Thank you my friend for letting me know about this event, as I enjoyed some of the real flavors of what Mumbai is known for. Although I could not complete the number of days I should have, still I will cherish these few days and am looking forward to increase my appetite for such festive occasions which in its own sense are very different. I never saw so many movies in 2 days. The fabulous crowd added to the intensity with which I moved to enjoy the festival with few of my friends. Keep us informed as always.

  2. Thank YOU dost for letting yourself be affected by this bug.
    We'll enjoy more such festivals together.
    Cinema is forever!