Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF 2014), the world’s largest and oldest international week-long festival of more than 400 non-feature and animation films from 35 countries, will kick off on Monday after being inaugurated by Governor K Sankaranarayanan.
Before Midnight: A Portrait of India on Film, 1899-1947, a rare restored film by the British Film Institute Archive, will open the festival. It is a collection of home movies, documentaries, dramas and comedies shot by royals exploring life in British India. “MIFF has spent ₤200 as a one-time screening fee to get the film to the festival,” said VS Kundu, festival director and DG, Films Division. “This unparalleled collection of films are being shown in India publicly for the first time.”
The Maharajah of Jodhpur’s home movies provide an epic portrait of princely power in the 1930s and 40s, while those of the Gorrie family offer an intimate picture of family life and their expeditions into the Himalayas. The collection also features films and TV dramas that helped shape mythologies of British India, including The Drum (1938), The North West Frontier (1959) and The Far Pavilions (1984). With more than 100 non-fiction films, the 86-minute collection covers subjects ranging from temples to tigers, according to the British Film Institute website.
Another highlight of the opening ceremony is the screening of short film, Checkmate BB, produced by Mumbai school kids. Seventeen children from 13 schools were trained to conceptualise, direct, shoot and edit a film on their own at a workshop conducted by Linnep Media and CineKids, Amsterdam, as part of the fortnight-long Linnep Kids Film Festival of award-winning Dutch documentaries, live action and animation films for schoolchildren, that was held in 15 schools of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane, as a run up to MIFF 2014.
This will be followed by the conferring of V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award to the acclaimed documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan. The award will include a cash prize of Rs5,00,000 and a citation.
The finale for the inauguration will see Indian Navy’s ceremonial band and Bangalore-based band ‘Mystic Vibes’ regaling the audience with their music.