Mumbai International Film Festival begins with a colorful opening ceremony

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The 17th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short Fiction, and Animation Films (MIFF-2022) kicked off today at the Nehru Centre in Worli in Mumbai with a colorful opening ceremony (29th May 2022).

Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles, inaugurated the seven-day festival organized by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting’s Films Division.

Documentary and animation films are similar to start-ups in that they have the potential to become unicorns – Piyush Goyal

Shri Piyush Goyal, speaking at the opening ceremony, said that those who make art films, documentaries, and animation films are like a start-up, seeding new ideas and acting as messengers in the country. He claims that today, multiple avenues such as the silver screen, television, OTT, and others are available to spread the message around the world, allowing such “start-ups” to become “Unicorns.”

Bangladesh was chosen as the ‘Country of Focus’ this year to commemorate the country’s 50th anniversary of independence. MIFF 2022 will feature a special package of 11 Bangladeshi films, including the critically acclaimed ‘Hasina- A Daughter’s Tale.’

Sanjit Narwekar, a documentary filmmaker and author, received the V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sanjit Narwekar, a veteran documentary filmmaker and author, received the coveted Dr. V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony for his contributions to films through his writings, particularly film history and the documentary film movement. Narwekar has written and edited over 20 books on film, including ‘Marathi Cinema in Retrospect,’ which won him the National Film Awards’ Swarna Kamal. The V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award comes with a cash prize of Rs 10 lakhs (Rs 1 million), as well as the Golden Conch and a citation. This award was created in honor of legendary filmmaker V Shantaram, who served as Honorary Chief Producer for the Films Division in the 1950s.

Lata Mangeshkar was an inspiration to many artists and musicians, according to the Minister, and through her art, she brought India’s history, tradition, and heritage to the world. “Let us look into how we can institutionalise Lata Didi’s role for the country, Mumbai, and the film industry as a whole.”

Anurag Thakur discusses documentary as a tool that crosses cultures and borders.
In a video message, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Anurag Thakur said, “documentary cinema creates the most significant impact. It not only educates inspires and motivates a change in the society, but also acts as a tool that transcends cultures and boundaries .” MIFF, according to the Minister, provides a platform for documentary filmmakers from around the world to exchange ideas and explore co-production and marketing opportunities for documentary, short, and animation films. He believes that this opportunity will eventually broaden the filmmakers’ vision of world cinema.

Dr. L. Murugan, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, spoke about the efforts made to promote Indian cinema around the world in his speech. He also mentioned how India has increased its presence at the Cannes Film Festival, claiming that Shaunak Sen’s film ‘All That Breathes’ won the Best Documentary award, making India proud. According to the Minister, the government has announced incentives for international filmmakers and co-productions, particularly in the areas of feature films, animation films, documentary films, and web series. “AVGC sector promotion is happening in a great way. PM’s call for Digital India and Startup India and Indian contingent at Cannes showcased our culture and ethos.”

During the ceremony, members of the International Jury Subbiah Nallamuthu, Anant Vijay, Meena Rad (France), Jeean Piree Saire (France), Dan Wolman (Israel) and the National Jury – Sanjit Narvekar, Subash Sehgal, Jayshree Bhattacharya, Ashley Ratanavibhushana (Sri Lanka) and Tareq Ahmed (Bangladesh)

Raosaheb Patil Danve, Minister of State for Railways, Coal & Mines; Ramdas Athawale, Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment; Shri Kapil Moreshwar Patil, Minister of State for Panchayati Raj; Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, Minister of State for Finance; award-winning filmmaker Shaji Karun, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Ms. Neerja

MIFF 2022’s Opening Night and Other Highlights

The 17th MIFF opened with Manipuri documentary film ‘Meiram – The Fireline (33 mins)’, French animation film ‘Castaway’ (6 mins), and Japanese short fiction film Shabu-Shabu Spirit (10 mins).

This year’s edition will feature approximately 400 films from all over the world. In the Competition Category, 102 films will be screened, with 35 in international competition and 67 in the national competition. The screenings will take place in the Films Division’s state-of-the-art auditoriums (auditoria) on Pedder Road.

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