10th Mumbai Documentary Film Festival
India, February 3 - February 9 2008
The 10th Mumbai International Film Festival of Documentary, Short and Animation films (MIFF) came with a hectic schedule. It had several sections, including the International Documentary section longer than sixty minutes for the FIPRESCI Jury, the Indian Competition, South Africa, SAARC, films from Brazil, Oscar Films, Classics, Film Memoirs, films from North-East India, films from Jammu & Kashmir and films on the Second World War. If that was not enough, we had several forums, interviews, retrospectives, and seminars ranging on subjects from Public Television, Animation and Social Communication to the Future of Film Institutes and the Exhibition/Distribution of Documentary Films in India.
Over 220 films from 36 countries for the International Competition, 550 films for the Indian Competition kept all the juries on their toes throughout the five days. The three Tata Theatres were equipped with good sound and lighting. Masters like Subhhash Ghai and Yash Chopra did come during the festival for talks and book launches. It was a demonstration of what the famous actor-producer-director-studio owner, the late Raj Kapoor, declared many years ago that the gap between feature and short/documentary films was being reduced.
The festival concluded with the closing ceremony and several awards. Jury members were asked to present their brief report on the stage. Most of the members emphasized that “less is more” and called for a selection of more quality films. They also wanted more time to attend seminars, forums and to watch films other than their jury domain.
The FIPRESCI Prize went to Salad House (Salata Baladi) from Egypt. The film was produced in collaboration with France and Switzerland in 2007 and directed by Nadia Kamal. This film also won another Jury award and turned out to be the most prestigious film of the evening with a special screening. (Aijaz Gul)