September 17, 2014

Mumbai 2014: A Look at the Line-Up

A few hours ago, MAMI announced its line-up for the Mumbai Film Festival 2014 to be held between 14th to 21st October. You can click here to get the complete line-up. It is close to four weeks before the city's favourite film festival returns, after fighting all odds and after several film enthusiasts came together to save it. I thought of writing a quick blog post to create the buzz. So here it is, very quickly, the highlights of the line-up of films from all over the world.

  1. Boyhood: Best Director at Berlin apart from several other awards all over. This latest film by Richard Linklater might just be the biggest high-profile film of this year's festival.
  2. Life of Riley: Alfred Bauer Award and FIPRESCI Prize at Berlin. This is the last film by Alain Resnais who passed away this year after a great filmography that includes films like 'Hiroshima mon amour' (1959) and 'Last Year at Marienbad' (1961). The Alfred Bauer Award at Berlin is awarded to a film that "opens new perspectives on cinematic art" and I keenly look forward to the winners of this prize every year.
  3. The Little House: Best Actress at Berlin to Haru Kuroki. This is the 81st film by the 83-year old Japanese master Yoji Yamada (director of, among others, 'The Twilight Samurai (2002)').
  4. Stations of the Cross: Best Screenplay at Berlin
  5. Difret: Audience Awards at Berlin and Sundance. This film is in competition here and I believe it will emerge as a favourite among most.
  6. Party Girl: Camera d'Or Winner at Cannes. This award at Cannes is for the best first film. Mira Nair had won it for 'Salaam Bombay!' (1988). I look forward to this award as well because it brings forth the film-makers to look forward to. Earlier winners of this award include Jim Jarmusch (1984), Jafar Panahi (1995), and Steve McQueen (2008).
  7. Black Coal, Thin Ice: Golden Bear and Best Actor winner at Berlin
  8. Mommy: Jury Prize at Cannes. The fifth feature by the 24-year old Xavier Dolan who is a Cannes favourite.
  9. Goodbye to Language 3D: Jury Prize at Cannes. This is the latest film by the 84-year old French legend Jean-Luc Godard.
  10. Corn Island: Two awards at Karlovy Vary
  11. I Am Not Him: Screenplay Award at Rome. This is supposed to be a celebrated film in its home country, Turkey.
  12. Vessel (Documentary): Audience Award and Special Jury Award at SXSW
  13. Omar: Nominated for Foreign Language Oscar last year, won Special Jury Prize (Un Certain Regard) at Cannes 2013
  14. Love at First Fight: Won four awards at Cannes 2014
  15. Blind Massage: Cinematography award at Berlin 2014
  16. Theeb: Won Venice Horizons Best Director
Apart from the films by Richard Linklater, Alain Resnais, Yoji Yamada, and Jean-Luc Godard, as mentioned above, the festival brings the latest films by Kim ki-Duk, Ken Loach, Zhang Yimou, Lars Von Trier, Atom Egoyan, and Takashi Miike.

Some films which are their countries' official entries to the upcoming Academy Awards are also playing here: Saint Laurent (France), Two Days, One Night (Belgium) by the inimitable Dardenne Brothers, Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Israel), Charlie's Country (Australia), Beloved Sisters (Germany) and Corn Island (Georgia), apart from Mommy (Canada) that I mentioned above.

It Happened One Night (1934/ Frank Capra), Lady from Shanghai (1947/ Orson Welles), On the Waterfront (1954/ Elia Kazan), Bye Bye Birdie (1963/ George Sidney), Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970/ Elio Petri) add so much weight to the line-up. I will not miss these for sure.

This list boasts of the greatest films of this festival. Alexander Nevsky (1938/ Sergei Eisenstein), Ballad of a Soldier (1959/ Grigoriy Chukhray), Andrei Rublev (1966/ Andrei Tarkovsky), Dersu Uzala (1975/ Akira Kurosawa), Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1979/ Vladimir Menshov), and the seven-hour epic War and Peace (1968/ Sergei Bondarchuk) are the best of the lot.

Anand (1971/ Hrishikesh Mukherjee), Junoon (1979/ Shyam Benegal), Parinda (1989/ Vidhu Vinod Chopra), Bandit Queen (1994/ Shekhar Kapur), Black Friday (2007/ Anurag Kashyap).

I will be eagerly waiting for Killa (by Avinash Arun) that won two awards at Berlin and Court (by Chaitanya Tamhane) that won this year's Venice Horizons Award.

I am also looking forward to The Umbrellas of Cherboug by Jacques Demy, Girlhood by Celine Sciamma (the director of 'Tomboy (2011)') and The Search by Michel Hazanavicius (the director of 'The Artist (2011)'.

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