October 08, 2016

Mumbai Film Festival 2016: A Look at the Line-Up

Every year, as soon as the program for Mumbai Film Festival is released, I try to write a post about the line-up, mentioning some of the movies I most eagerly await. This year, due to some travelling and then being in my home-town for a family emergency, I am almost ten days late. Apologies for that. But here it is, my overview of this year's line-up:

OSCAR ENTRIES: I don't think we have ever had as many as 13 countries' official submission for the Oscars screening at our festival. I have watched India's entry 'Visaranai' and Venezuela's 'From Afar' that was screened at the festival last year. Following are the thirteen movies screening this year at our festival (also note the names of some big directors here):

  1. Bosnia and Herzegovina: 'Death in Sarajevo' by Danis Tanovic ('No Man's Land') has won Grand Jury Prize and FIPRESCI Prize at Berlin
  2. Chile: 'Neruda' by Pablo Larrain ('No', 'The Club')
  3. Egypt: 'Clash', the second film by Mohamed Diab
  4. France: 'Elle' by Paul Verhoeven ('Basic Instinct')
  5. Iran: 'The Salesman' by Asghar Farhadi has ('A Separation') has won Best Actor and Best Screenplay at Cannes
  6. Israel: 'Sand Storm' by debutant Elite Zexer has won awards at Sundance, Locarno and more 
  7. Portugal: 'Letters from War' by Ivo Ferreira
  8. Russia: 'Paradise' by Andrey Konchalovskiy who jointly won Best Director at Venice. This veteran film-maker will be a new discovery for me personally.
  9. Saudi Arabia: 'Barakah Meets Barakah' by debutant Mahmoud Sabbagh has won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at Berlin
  10. Singapore: 'Apprentice' by Junfeng Boo
  11. Switzerland: 'My Life as a Courgette' by debutant Claude Barras has won Audience Awards at several festivals
  12. Taiwan: 'Hang in There, Kids' by Laha Mebow
  13. UK: 'Under the Shadow' by debutant 'Babak Anvari' is a Persian-language film from the UK
Apart from these, 'Aquarius',  the controversial film that was a strong contender from Brazil will also play.

WINNERS AT RECENT FILM FESTIVALS: Apart from the award-winning movies mentioned above, the festival will also screen:
  1. 'I, Daniel Blake' by Ken Loach ('Kes'): Won Palme d'Or at Cannes and the Audience Award at Locarno (the award won by Lagaan in 2001)
  2. 'Graduation' by Cristian Mungiu ('4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days' and 'Beyond the Hills'): Won Best Director at Cannes, tied with:
  3. 'Personal Shopper' by Olivier Assayas ('Clouds of Sils Maria'): Tied with the above for Best Director at Cannes
  4. 'The Red Turtle' by Michael Dudok de Wit: This silent animation film won Un Certain Regard - Special Jury Prize at Cannes
  5. 'The Woman Who Left' by Lav Diaz ('Norte, the End of History'): Won Golden Lion at Venice
  6. 'The Untamed' by Amat Escalante ('Los Bastardos', 'Heli'): Won Best Director jointly at Venice
  7. 'Things to Come' by Mia Hansen-Love: Won Best Director at Berlin
  8. 'The Commune' by Thomas Vinterberg ('Festen', 'The Hunt'): Won Best Actress for Trine Dyrholm at Berlin
  9. 'Fukushima Mon Amour' by Doris Dorrie: Runners-up Audience Award at Berlin
  10. 'Swiss Army Man' by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert: Won Best Director at Sundance
  11. 'The Land of the Enlightened' by Pieter-Jan De Pue: This documentary won award for cinematography at Sundance
  12. 'When Two Worlds Collide' by Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel: This documentary has won awards all over, including one at Sundance
  13. 'The Lure' by Agnieszka Smoczynska: It is a thriller that has won awards at several fantasy film festivals, and also the Special Jury Award at Sundance for Unique Vision and Design
  14. 'Godless' by Ralitza Petrova: Won four awards at Locarno, including Best Actress for Irena Ivanova and unanimously the Golden Leopard
RECENT MOVIES BY BIG NAMES: The movies mentioned above feature at least nine directors of repute. Then, there are more:
  1. 'After the Storm' by Hirokazu Koreeda ('Like Father Like Son')
  2. 'Don't Call Me Son' by Anna Muylaert ('The Second Mother')
  3. 'Endless Poetry' by Alejandro Jodorowsky ('The Holy Mountain')
  4. 'Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World' by Werner Herzog ('Aguirre, the Wrath of God')
  5. 'The Neon Demon' by Nicolas Winding Refn ('Drive')
  6. 'The Unknown Girl' by the Dardenne Brothers ('Rosetta', 'The Son')
  7. 'The Death of Louis XIV' by Albert Serra ('Story of My Death)
  8. 'Goodbye Berlin' by Fatih Akin ('Head-On')
  9. 'Tope' by Buddhadeb Dasgupta ('Laal Darja')
  10. 'Pinneyum' by Adoor Gopalakrishnan ('Swayamvaram')
  11. 'Anatomy of Violence' by Deepa Mehta ('Water')
  12. 'Trapped' by Vikramditya Motwane ('Udaan', 'Lootera')
CLASSICS: Apart from these, the festival will also screen classics like 'On the Silver Globe' and 'The Saragossa Manuscript' from Poland, 'Multiple Maniacs' from USA, 'Teesri Manzil' from India, 'Jaago Hua Savera' from Pakistan, 'The Bride' and 'Winter Sleep' from Turkey, and Jia Zhngke's 'Unknown Pleasures' and 'A Touch of Sin'.

I am also looking forward to the documentary 'The Cinema Travellers'.


  1. That Iran movie - the salesman..i feel it will be very good

  2. It always amazes me how many movies there are besides of the common Americans. And almost none of those movies is airing at least if some other countries. And a lot of them are really cool! I've read a review of EduZaurus.com on some of the movies from the list and became really interested.