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Mumbai International Film Festival Returns to Enthral Audiences

Mumbai:14/6/24:Anticipation mounts as the 18th edition of Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for short films, documentaries, and animation films gears up for its grand inauguration tomorrow, marking the commencement of a cinematic celebration that promises to captivate audiences and industry professionals alike.

Offering a glimpse into the enriching experience that awaits participants and unveiling the festival’s array of cinematic treasures in a curtain raiser press conference, Shri Sanjay Jaju, Secretary of, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said that the whole objective of organizing such festivals is not just to promote cinema, but to reflect upon topical and socio-economic issues and to guide policymakers towards solutions.

Hinting at the growing market for documentary and short films, Shri Sanjay Jaju said that the documentary is a huge industry worth 16 billion US dollars globally demonstrating the genre’s power to inform, inspire, introspect, and entertain. “Besides the documentaries, we have a very buzzing and dynamic VFX segment which also includes the animation segment. It’s big industry which has huge economic and employment multipliers within our country. We are happy this segment is part of MIFF this year,” he added.

Highlighting the inroads our nation has made in Animation and VFX industry, the Secretary further said Indian VFX characters like Chota Bheem and Chacha Choudhary have become world known and they prove that Indian stories have the power to resonate universally. “The whole objective is to create intellectual properties within our country in Animation sector which should go far and beyond. This is an opportunity for many of our creators to come up with such ideas that will capture the imagination of the world”, he emphasized.

Shri Sanjay Jaju announced that over the next week, MIFF will have 314 films from 59 countries in 61 languages, 8 world premieres, 5 international premieres, 18 Asia premieres, and 21 India premieres. “ Sixty countries are participating through their films and other kind of engagements.

While the Government of Sri Lanka is putting up a performance that brings out their cultural heritage in the opening ceremony, the Government of Argentina is showcasing their country’s talents in the closing ceremony.

MIFF is not just about India. It is about the world. It provides opportunities for filmmakers across the world,” he explained.

Announcing some novel initiatives at MIFF, the Secretary said that this year’s festival is introducing the first-ever Doc Film Bazaar, a dedicated marketplace for independent filmmakers to find buyers, sponsors and collaborators for their projects.

For the first time, MIFF has selected a Midfest Film, “The Commandant’s Shadow” directed by Daniela Volker, adding a new dimension to the festival’s offerings.

Towards giving further impetus to Inclusivity and Accessibility, he said that MIFF 2024 is making its venues fully accessible to everyone and also showcasing special films for persons with disabilities in partnership with the NGO SVAYAM.

In another, MIFF screenings and red carpet events will take place simultaneously in five cities: Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, and Delhi where audiences can enjoy parallel screenings, bringing the magic of world-class cinema closer to film enthusiasts across India.

Detailing Ministry’s efforts to encourage future filmmakers, the Secretary said that this year, the festival takes a significant step forward by inviting students from premier film institutes like FTII, SRFTI, and IIMC. This will provide them the opportunity to immerse themselves in the festival learn from industry leaders, and network. “ The festival allows budding filmmakers to learn from each other and from masters, experts, and legends along with those who have already made a mark. MIFF has a legacy of creating many great filmmakers. The whole idea is to create champions for the future and provide them an opportunity to become big”, he said.

Shri Sanjay Jaju also said that the opening ceremony will showcase the FTII student short Film “Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know”, which won laurels at the 77th Cannes Film Festival this year. He further added that India’s ascendance in our soft power is a reality and it is going to be fuelled by these imaginative creators who are going to be part of the MIFF over the next week. “ We are a huge, diverse country with large number of languages and creators in all these languages. In the age of social media, there are a lot of creators who have not even gone to a cinema school. However, they have a huge influencer network and hold promise in the content they create. All such people will get an opportunity. There are lots of government schemes to promote independent filmmakers,” he explained.

Earlier during the Press Conference, Shri Prithul Kumar, Managing Director, NFDC also presented a PPT highlighting the various features of 18th MIFF 2024. Find the curtain raiser ppt here.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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