A press conference was convened to showcase Shahid, a film based on the remarkable life, career trajectory and murder of human rights activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi by noted filmmaker Hansal Mehta. The film traces Shahid’s life from attempting to become a terrorist, being wrongly imprisoned under a draconian anti-terrorism law to becoming a criminal lawyer and unlikely messiah for human rights while following the rise of communal violence in India. Also in attendance were the films lead actors Raj Kumar Yadav and Prabhleen Sandhu who have essayed the roles of Shahid Azmi and Mariam. “I had been looking for a new story for a very long time until I came across a man whose life fascinated me”, said Hansal Mehta”, I look at the platform of the 14th Mumbai Film Festival as the ideal platform to launch this film and hope that it provides the public with a different point of view into the life of a misrepresented and disenfranchised human being”.
The afternoon segment titled Who is the Producer of the film? was an open forum interaction that witnessed a panel discussion that featured illustrious participants such as producer extraordinaire Shrishti Arya Bhel, Guneet Monga (Gangs of Wasseypur) and Vijay Singh, CEO at Fox Star Studios who explained the evolution in the role of a film producer in Indian cinema, seasoned film producer Julian Alcantara who provided an insightful perspective of the methodology of film production in the west and film director Vikramaditya Motwane who lent the discussion inputs with a creative inclination.
Aficionados of cinema were presented with an opportunity to enjoy stellar works of cinematic genius with movies including On The Road by Walter Salles , Beasts of the Southern Wild by Benh Zeitlin, acclaimed filmmaker Vittorio De Sica’s Umberto D, legendary Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s Charulata, Captive by ace Filipino film director Brillante Mendoza, The Taste of Money by critically acclaimed Korean director IM Sang-Soo as well as works by local filmmakers such as director Nitin Kakkar’s Filmistaan. Spotted among the attendees were prominent personalities such as Shyam Benegal, Kiran Rao, Ila Arun, Ranvir Shorey ,Dev Benegal and Satish Kaushik. The forthcoming days at the festival will host special event segments dedicated to French, Italian and Afghan cinema as well as silent films accompanied by a live orchestra, and offer attendees with an opportunity to be audience to panel discussions and participate in workshops conducted at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) by eminent cinematic personalities from around the globe.
The 14th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival is scheduled from the 18th – 25th October, 2012 at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) & Inox, Nariman Point, Liberty Cinemas, Marine Lines as the main festival venues and Cinemax, Andheri and Cinemax Sion as the satellite venues.