The 11th Mumbai Film Festival, organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), got off to a great start with a star-studded attendance. The MAMI committee led by Chairman Shyam Benegal and trustees Yash Chopra, Amit Khanna, Shabana Azmi, Amol Palekar played host.
The festival was inaugurated by a visibly impressed Ambika Soni, the Information and Broadcasting Minister of India. Also present at the event was the Chief Minister of the State of Meghalaya, Dr DD Lapang, who was there to promote the potential the beautiful locales of his state, held for Bollywood.
With the formalities over with Farhan Akhtar & Karan Johar took over as emcees.
First up, Shyam Benegal gave the welcome speech. This was followed by a Yash Chopra's felicitation for Outstanding Achievement in Film. An elated Mr Chopra said, "Such appreciation for once work is always a very humbling experience. I am happy that God has given me the strength and the ability to make films for so many years and I will continue to do so till my last breath.â
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Shashi Kapoor for his career spanning six decades.
Then it was time for some popcorn! The Informant directed by Academy-Award Winner Steven Soderbergh, officially kick started the film fest on screen.
The films in competition will be viewed on eight screens at Fun Cinemas (Andheri), Metro BIG Cinemas (Marine Lines) & BIG Cinemas R City (Ghatkopar) and judged by MFF 2009 Jury Members namely, Hollywood screenwriter and director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull), Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, Philippine filmmaker Brillante Mendoza, Indian filmmaker Shaji N Karun, and former Director of Locarno Film Festival Irene Bignardi.
This year MFF carries one of the richest cash awards for its International Competition for Directors debuting feature films. The prize money is US$ 100,000 (approximately Rs 50, 00,000).
Text & Images: Sify.com