MIFF 2014 opens with the screening of rare films of British Era;
Anand Patwardhan gets V Shantaram Life Time Achievement Award
The week long festival celebrating the best of documentary films –the Mumbai International Film Festival , MIFF 2014 began today, with a rare insight into the life during pre-independence India, and presentation of V Shantaram Award.
The Governor of Maharashtra inaugurated the Festival by traditional lighting of lamp, in the presence of Bimal Julka, Secretary, I&B, V S Kundu, Festival Director, Members of the National & International Jury and several prominent film makers. Mr. Sankaranarayanan in his address appealed to the film makers to lend their voice to raise the problems of disadvantaged through their films
Veteran film maker on social issues Anand Patwardhan was honoured with the V Shantaram Life Time Achievement Award for his contribution to promotion of documentary films movement in India. Anand Patwardhan is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker known for his activism through social action documentaries on topics such as corruption, slum dwellers, nuclear arms race, citizen activism and communalism. His notable films include Bombay: Our City (Hamara Sahar) (1985), In the Name of God (Ram ke Nam) (1992), Father, Son and Holy War (Pitra, Putra aur Dharmayuddha) (1995), War and Peace (Jang aur Aman) (2002) and Jai Bhim Comrade (2011), which have won national and International awards. Jai Bhim Comrade, had won the Best Film award at MIFF 2012. Speaking about the type of films he makes,
Mr. Patwardhan in his acceptance speech said, “my feelings are mixed. My films speak about the reality of the disadvantaged. They have raised several socially relevant issues, but the impact has been marginal. The issues I highlighted through my films sine 1980s continue to exist – rampant demolition of slums and uprooting of poor, communal violence, increasing crime against women, atrocities against the downtrodden, nuclear arms race etc, continue to remain as serious challenges”. Mr. Patwardhan thanked the jury for chosing him for the award and said such awards would help make his works more visible V Shantaram Award carries a a cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs (Rs 500,000) and a citation.
The opening film - the 86 minute package curated by the British Film Institute National Archive – Before : a Portrait of India on Film, 1899-1947, is a collection of home movies, documentaries , dramas and comedies exploring how life was lived in British India. It has over 100 short films covering topics ranging from temples to tigers. Maharajah of Jodhpur’s home movies provide an epic portrait of princely power in the 1930s and 40s, whilst those of the Gorrie family offer an intimate picture of family life and their expeditions into the Himalaya. The collection also features the films and TV dramas that helped to shape the mythologies of British India including The Drum (1938), The North West Frontier (1959) and The Far Pavilions (1984).
Another highlight of the opening ceremony was the screening of short film titled ‘Checkmate BB’ produced by Mumbai School kids. 17 kids from 13 schools were trained to conceptualize, direct, shoot and edit a film of their own at a workshop conducted by by the Linnep Media and CineKids, Amsterdam as part of the fortnight long Linnep Kids Film Festival, that was held in 15 schools of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane, as a run up to MIFF 2014.
Indian Navy’s ceremonial Naval band and Bangalore’s noted music group – Mystic Vibes also enthralled the audience at the inaugural ceremony.