18th MIFF Bids Glittering Farewell, Pledges an Even Brighter Return

Under the twinkling lights of Mumbai’s iconic skyline, the 18th Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short Fiction, and Animation films concluded, illuminating the City of Dreams with the brilliance of cinematic artistry. The city that never sleeps reverberated with the echoes of storytelling and creativity, reaching its crescendo with a spectacular closing ceremony graced by Maharashtra Culture Minister Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar.

Celebrities, filmmakers, and luminaries from the film and entertainment world gathered to celebrate the festival’s resounding success and the enchanting magic of non-feature cinema. Among them were Shekhar Suman, Shaji N. Karun, Subbiah Nallamuthu,  Poonam Dhillon, Chaya Kadam, Ammie Barauh, Akshay Oberoi and Vishal among others.

Delivering his keynote address, Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, Culture Minister, Government of Maharashtra said that our filmmakers are the Kohinoors of our nation. ” When we move forward, our heritage and every subject connected to our films will move forward.  The capacities of those sitting here are such that they can reach the depths of our souls through their art; depths even doctors may not reach,” he added. He urged everyone to leave MIFF with a renewed perspective and a commitment to increasing their capacities in the years to come.

The Minister also congratulated the Government of India for its efforts in promoting talented filmmakers through this esteemed medium. Highlighting the transformative power of films, he stated, “Films are a mirror to the society and lead to social transformation. A single dialogue from this sector can transform a person’s life.”

Shri Mungantiwar also underscored the multifaceted role of films, stating, “Films are not only a source of entertainment but also a power station that develops personalities. When personalities are developed, societies develop, and when societies develop, the nation develop.” He concluded his speech with a call to action, encouraging everyone to come together through the medium of film to take the pride of our nation to every house and heart across the globe.

Sharing the International Competition Jury’s views about the competing films, Shri Bharat Bala, Chairman of the Jury said that they were inspired by the narratives of cultural values around the world which still place family at the centre of our lives and the resilience of humanity that encourage all to become better version of ourselves. “Soul of all the documentaries reflected the culture of humanity and culture that we live and breath from across the world. We expect all of us to invest more in documentaries so that humanity can thrive”, he added.

Indian producer Apoorva Bakshi, the Chairperson of National Jury of MIFF said that jury was honoured to witness strong, profound, and poignant narratives emerging from different parts of India. “The highlight of viewing experience was how filmmakers across the board deconstructed the anatomy of patriarchy and portrayed male relationships through a tender lens which was seldom explored”, she added.

Golden Conch award for ‘The Golden Thread’

The prestigious Golden Conch award for the Best Documentary Film of the Festival in International Category was awarded to the Indian film ‘The Golden Thread’ directed by Nistha Jain. The film, which follows the weft and warp of jute work in Kolkata, is both an homage and an observation of the last vestiges of the industrial revolution impacted by economic change. The jury noted that the film illustrates the relationship of man to machine while questioning the equation by which capitalism values man only in terms of his labor. The stunning imagery and sound weave a beautiful narrative that underscores the compelling nature of documentary filmmaking. The award includes a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh. ‘The Golden Thread’ was also screened as the Closing film of the festival.

(In Photo: Nistha Jain, Director of ‘The Golden Thread’ receiving Golden Conch award for the Best International Documentary Film of the Festival)

The Silver Conch award for the Best International Short Fiction Film was bestowed upon the Estonian film ‘Sour Milk’, directed by Vera Pirogova. The film eloquently portrays the intricate bond between mother and son, weaving a narrative rich in expectation and disappointment. This award also includes a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh.

The Polish film ‘Zima,’ directed by Tomek Popakul and Kasumi Ozeki, received the Silver Conch award for the Best Animation Film in the International Competition section, accompanied by a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh.

‘Lovely Jackson,’ directed by Matt Waldeck, received the Jury’s Special Mention in the International Competition category. The jury was inspired by the film’s spirituality and the creative techniques used to tell its compelling story.

Technical Awards for Best Sound Design was awarded jointly to Niraj Gera and Abhijit Sarkar for their excellence in the films ‘The Golden Thread and ‘Dhara Ka Tem’ (Time for Milking). Best Editor award at the MIFF was awarded jointly to Vignesh Kumulai for ‘Karparaa’ and Irene Dhar Mallik for ‘From the Shadows.’ Award for Best Cinematography was bestowed jointly upon Babin Dulal and Suraj Thakur for ‘Dhorpatan: No Winter Holidays’ and ‘Entangled’ respectively.

The Pramod Pati Award for Most Innovative/Experimental Film was awarded to the Japanese film ‘The Old Young Crow,’ directed by Liam Lopinto, for its inventive and magical storytelling of multiple dualities. The award includes a trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh.

The Silver Conch award for Best Indian Documentary Film went to ‘6-A Akash Ganga,’ directed by Nirmal Chander Dandriyal. The film, which draws viewers into the reclusive world of legendary musician Annapurna Devi, includes a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh.

The Silver Conch Award for the Best Indian Short Fiction Film (up to 30 minutes) was awarded to ‘Salt,’ directed by Barkha Prashant Naik. The film explores the tender inter-generational understanding of sexuality in a poignant and beautifully crafted father-son story. This award includes a cash prize of Rs. 3 lakh.

‘Nirjara,’ directed by Gaurav Pati, won the Silver Conch award for the Best Indian Animation Film. The film, which tells the story of two brothers reuniting during grief-ridden rituals on the ghats of Ganga, includes a cash prize of Rs. 3 lakh.

‘A Coconut Tree,’ directed by Joshy Benedict, received the Jury’s Special Mention in the National Competition section for addressing the urgent topics of migration and climate change.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari Award for Best Debut Director at MIFF 2024 was awarded to Sreemoyee Singh for her film ‘Towards Happy Alleys,’ which also won the FIPRESCI International Critic Jury award at MIFF. The awards includes a trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh.

The IDPA award for the Best Student Film at MIFF was awarded to ‘Chanchisoa (Expectation),’ a Garo film directed by Elvachisa Ch Sangma and Dipankar Das. The award includes a trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh.

The Best Short Film Award on ‘India in Amrit Kaal’ was awarded to ‘Life in Loom,’ directed by Edmond Ranson, which explores the socio-economic and climatic challenges faced by weaver communities in India. The award includes a trophy, certificate, and a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh.

The evening left the audience spellbound with colorful, vibrant, and eclectic cultural performances that set the stage on fire. The technical committee of the festival and film personalities were felicitated at the function. Shri Prithul Kumar, Festival Director & Managing Director, NFDC, proposed the vote of thanks.

MIFF 2024 in a nutshell:

This edition of MIFF proudly showcased a diverse array of 314 films from 59 countries, presented in 61 languages. The festival featured an impressive lineup, including 8 world premieres, 5 international premieres, 18 Asia premieres, and 21 India premieres, highlighting the global appeal and unique storytelling prowess of filmmakers worldwide. A significant highlight of MIFF 2024 was the introduction of the Documentary Film Bazaar, a groundbreaking initiative that offered filmmakers an exceptional platform to engage with buyers, sponsors, and collaborators. This innovative event attracted nearly 200 projects from 10 countries, spanning 27 languages, fostering a vibrant exchange of ideas and opportunities.

Festival attendees were also treated to masterclasses by renowned filmmakers such as Alphonse Roy, Nemil Shah, Shaji N. Karun, Audrius Stonys, Santhosh Sivan, and Subbiah Nallamuthu, among others. These sessions provided invaluable insights into the art of filmmaking, enriching the knowledge and skills of aspiring and established filmmakers alike. Panel discussions at MIFF 2024 delved into contemporary and innovative topics related to documentary, short fiction, and animation filmmaking. Delegates explored new facets of filmmaking, promotion, and distribution, broadening their understanding of the industry’s evolving landscape. Additionally, a workshop on Animation and VFX pipeline, led by a senior animator from Warner Brothers, captivated participants with its in-depth exploration of cutting-edge techniques.

The Open Forums, organized by the Indian Documentary Producers Association, sparked engaging and heated discussions on pertinent issues such as documentary funding, artificial intelligence, OTT platforms, and filmmaking in the era of social media. These forums provided a dynamic space for professionals to debate and share insights on the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today. MIFF 2024 has once again affirmed its status as a premier platform for global cinematic exchange, fostering creativity, collaboration, and the celebration of diverse storytelling traditions from around the world.

PIB Team MIFF | Gautam/ Nikita/ Bibin/ Darshana | 59

(Release ID: 2027825)

Read this release in: Marathi