Noted filmmaker Shyam Benegal will be the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of upcoming 14th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for Documentary, Short and Animation Films.
The seven-day festival (January 28-February 3) will be held in Mumbai.
The National award-winning filmmaker was recently appointed by the government as the head of a new panel, formed to revamp the controversy-stricken censor board.
Also in attendance at the opening will be Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff, who has been chosen as the brand ambassador of the festival.
This is the first time that an artist from the mainstream cinema has been appointed as its face. “Sholay” director Ramesh Sippy will attend the closing ceremony, said Mukesh Sharma, director of MIFF and Director General, Films Divison.
“A lot of people from Bollywood will be seen at the opening ceremony. Shyam Benegal will be the guest of honour at the opening ceremony and Ramesh Sippy of ‘Sholay’ fame will be there at the closing ceremony,” Sharma told reporters here at the press conference of the festival.
The event is being organised by Films Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India in collaboration with Government of Maharashtra.
Out of 825 entries, the jury selected 110 for competition in four sections—international, national, new media and animation.
The festival will honour a veteran personality from the Indian documentary fraternity with the esteemed V Shanataram Lifetime Achievement Award that carries a cash component of Rs 5 lakh trophy and a citation.
“The total cash prize is Rs 60 lakh, out of which Rs 55 lakh is for winners of competition categories and the rest Rs 5 lakh is for the recipient of V Shanataram Lifetime Achievement Award,” Sharma said.
While the national jury has members like Mike Pandey, Indian filmmaker specialising in movies about wildlife, Biju Dhanapalan and Jane Yu from Taiwan, the international jury includes filmmakers Don Askarian (Germany) and Jesper Anderson, Denmark.
The extravaganza will also have screening of films in MIFF Prism (non-competition), Jury retrospectives, children’s documentary films, North East package, FD and PSBT films and homages.
Sharma added the focus is on widening the scope of documentary films in the country and he wants the biennial 43=ofestival should be held‘ every year now.