Celluloid Celebrations

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The 16th Mumbai Film Festival organized by MAMI (Moving Academy of Moving Image) threw its glitzy doors open to the public to offer a potpourri of the best of cinema from across the globe. This spectacular festival was held between the 14th and 21st of October 2014 to include 180 hand picked, critically acclaimed films from 65 countries, covering all genres. This gargantuan programme carried on for 192 hours over 8 days at 3 significant venues across Mumbai. 

Among the leading luminaries of prominent French cinema personalities who attended the event, was the legendary actress Catherine Deneuve, who was conferred a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ during the opening ceremony. This privilege was bestowed to the ageless artist to commemorate her invaluable contribution to French cinema. Moreover, a special retrospective film dedicated to her was screened, to honor her presence. Other prominent bigwigs who graced the occasion were Mahamat Saleh Haroun, Thomas Cailley, Indika Udugampola and Raphaël Neal. The representation from the Indian film fraternity included major players such as Shyam Benegal, Imtiaz Ali, Karan Johar, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, amongst others. There were interviews, panel discussions and film presentations galore, providing a bit of zing to loyal patrons and devoted cinéphiles.

Catherine Deneuve receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

The French presence in the Mumbai Film Festival was as strong as ever. While fostering its friendship and as part of its partnership over the last three years with UniFrance Films, the Mumbai Film Festival focused on a wide variety of films in all festival categories. Isabelle Giordano, the General Manager of UniFrance Films, assured the audience of the discovery of a wide variety of subjects and themes through these screenings, whilst Valérie-Ann Christen, the permanent representative of UniFrance Films in Mumbai and South-East Asia promoted these films to Indian producers after assessing the compatibility of western screenplays to suit the Indian mindset.

In an exclusive section called ‘Rendez-vous with French Cinema’, several facets of French contemporary cinema were showcased with an intent to encourage Indian distributors to promote French cinema and to further Indo-French ties. Srinivasan Narayanan, director of the 16th Mumbai Film Festival acknowledged the developing partnership between UniFrance films, the Institut Français in India and the Mumbai Film Festival. Unifrance Films along with the Franco-Indian production company ‘La Fabrique Films’ organized a ‘Remake Mini Market’ for the first time on 15 and 16 October 2014, where it believed that Indian producers would be interested in adapting and incorporating French screenplays in the space of Indian films. Until now, Indian film makers illegitimately bootlegged film stories and screenplays from foreign shores and infringed on their copyrights sans paying the necessary film adaptation fees. Fortunately, this ‘Remake Mini Market’ has set right the practices of plagiarism and the unlawful breach of copyrights, after which the market of legal remakes has significantly surged.

On 16 October, this segment of ‘Rendez-vous with French Cinema’ opened with Pierre Salvadori’s film ‘In the Courtyard’, a film which Catherine Deneuve also watched. This screening was followed by others such as ‘Clouds of Silms Maria’, ‘French Riviera’, ‘Girlhood’, ‘Life of Riley’, ‘Love at First Fight’, ‘Metamorphoses’, ‘Saint Laurent’, ‘The Blue Room’ and ‘The Search’. François Vandeville, the Cultural Counsellor and Director of Institut Français in India, and Jean-Raphaël Peytregnet, the French Consul General of Mumbai heartily congratulated the Indian film fraternity for organizing this event and extending their support for this festival. They avowed that since both India and France loved cinema, this festival was an excellent opportunity for cinema enthusiasts to discover and enjoy great films from across the world. The eight day film festival gala drew to a close on 21 October 2014 with a special word of thanks to the delegates, the Government of Maharashtra as well as to the faithful supporters, without whom this event would not have been successful.




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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...