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MIFF 2024 showcases the Best Films from around the World

Mumbai:20/6/24:As the 18th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) 2024 draws to a close tomorrow, cinephiles from across the country and around the world can look back on a truly remarkable experience. This year, the festival delighted audiences with an exceptional array of documentaries, short fiction, and animation films from across the globe. Among the notable highlights were the Berlinale Shorts and the Oscar films package, each offering a curated selection of critically acclaimed works.

The Berlinale Shorts, the official competition for short films at the Berlinale, is known for its diverse and groundbreaking cinematic expressions. Each year, up to 25 films are chosen to showcase the breadth and depth of short filmmaking. For MIFF 2024, twelve standout films from the past five years were compiled into three programs, featuring both a Silver Bear and a Golden Bear winner. Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck, head of Berlinale Shorts and a member of the National Competition Jury at MIFF, curated this impressive package.

(Poster of Berlinale Shorts package film ‘A Kind of Testament’)

Films in the package – ‘Haulout’, ‘Jon-Jae-Ui Jib’, ‘Marungka Tjalatjunu’, ‘Kawauso’, ‘Les Chenilles’, ‘Sojourn to Shangri-La’, ‘A Kind of a Testament’, ‘How To Disappear’, ‘Manhã De Dominsgo’, ‘Ours’and ‘Terra Mater’ garnered critical acclaim from the delegates. The Indian film in the package ‘Gumnaam Din’ (Missing Days) by Ekta Mittal, which delves into the lives of migrant workers, also received high praise.

The Berlinale package films explored a diverse range of themes including identity theft, privacy invasion, environmental challenges, anti-war sentiments, inner peace, reconciliation, voyeurism, healing, technological junk, and forced migration.

The Oscar package also featured twelve films, offering delegates a taste of world-class content. The package included ‘Letter to a Pig’, ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’, ‘Pachyderme’, ‘Our Uniform’, ‘Invincible’, ‘Knight of Fortune’, ‘Red, White and Blue’, ‘Ninety- Five Senses’, ‘I’m Hip’, ‘Wild Summon’, ‘War is Over and ‘The After’, satisfying the delegates’ appetite for the finest films worldwide.

(Poster of Oscar package film ‘Letter to a Pig’ )

The Oscar films explored a wide array of themes, including the quest for freedom, the weight of grief and loss, struggles of single parenthood, collective trauma, questions of identity, collective extremes of human nature, and the sensory experiences of the body. Societal norms and childhood memories are critiqued, while childhood innocence is contrasted with surrealism.

(Still from the feature ‘Srikanth’ )

MIFF 2024 also hosted special screenings of an eclectic mix of films, including the Amazon series ‘Poacher’, Disney and Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’, the Japanese documentary ‘I Go Ga Ga Welcome Home Mom’, Indian documentaries like ‘Bogus Phone Operators’, ‘Plastic Fantastic’, ‘Women Of My Billion’, ‘It Is This’ and the eco-conservation-themed documentary ‘My Mercury’. The festival also features the Hindi feature film ‘Srikanth’ starring Rajkummar Rao.

(Still from the Midfest film ‘Commandant’s Shadow’)

The festival commenced with the Indian premiere of National Geographic’s documentary, ‘Billy and Molly: An Otter Love Story’, captivating the audience with its heartfelt narrative. The mid-festival screening of ‘Commandant’s Shadow’, directed by Daniela Volker, offered a fresh perspective on the Holocaust and received critical acclaim.

MIFF 2024 will conclude tomorrow with a gala Closing Ceremony where the coveted Golden Counch and Silver Counch Awards will be announced, wrapping up a festival that has truly celebrated the art of filmmaking in all its forms.

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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