<At the event: Sailesh Ghelani>
Yet another year and yet another festival of film organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI). This year’s Mumbai Film Festival prime venue is Liberty Cinema near Metro. And Metro Big Cinema is also a venue as well. I’ve been told the owners of Liberty have been lobbying for a while to get their venue in focus for major festivals here in the city. The venue is certainly grand and has its charm but they really need to do something about the uncomfortable seats and the weak sound system.
Thankfully, most shows at Liberty so far have been on time. Some delegates and press have complained of long queues and waiting times at Metro Cinema but that’s probably due to the fact that they have 4 screens for the festival whereas Liberty is a single screen theatre.
I attended the first day of the actual films beginning after the ceremony day and saw two films: The Immigrant and Young & Beautiful (Jeune & Jolie). The latter film is part of the Rendez-vous with French Cinema section of the festival and a delegation were present for the film’s screening including Nathalie Baye, Lifetime Achievement Award winner Costa-Gavras, Guillaume Brac and director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, The Past).
It’s interesting to note that the delegates and press aren’t standing for delays and goof-ups anymore. A few in the audience at the Young & Beautiful show started heckling and clapping for the organisers to begin the event on time, which was immediately taken note of as the presenters began the tedious formalities of bouquets and lighting the ceremonial lamp (both of which are archaic and a fire hazard, and should be dispensed with). Only the French delegation’s ‘musical’ speeches were a saviour from the ho-hum ceremonial fumbling.
Take a look at the highlights of the first days in pictures in our gallery: