Mumbai, July 18 Nine silent movies will be screened at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival and veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal said “this is how we are going to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema” and “bring back the era of silent cinema”.
Starting Oct 18, the eight-day fest, a Reliance Entertainment initiative, will showcase over 200 movies, including nine silent films.
“The main thing is going to be the nine restored silent films that will be shown the way it used to be shown in the silent days of Indian cinema.
“The way it used to be shown 100 year ago… with live music,” Benegal, chairman Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI), which organises the fest, told IANS.
He added: “That is how we are going to celebrate the 100 years of Indian cinema. Because that is the experience that nobody has now known or even has the memory of it because none of those people are living. So that will give you an idea of early Indian cinema was like. The silent era will be back.”
Apart from that, the fest promises an interesting bouquet of world cinema too.
Festival director Srinivasan Narayanan told IANS: “We are going to get the best of world cinema as we did last year.”
Talking about the centenary celebration of Indian cinema, he added that “We are only screening only existing Indian silent films along with a live music.”
“For films like ‘A Throw Of Dice’, we are bringing a group of German artists and they will play music. We are trying to create live music for silent films as a tribute to Indian cinema,” said Narayanan.
The festival will also pay tribute to the Italian cinema through a special selection of films in the Celebration of Italian Cinema section.
Benegal said: “Altogether over 200 films will be shown. But among silent films there will be nine and then we will have a whole retrospective of Italian cinema from silent days till now.”
This year the festival will move to the south of Mumbai with NCPA and INOX as the festival venue.
Filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Sudhir Mishra have joined the MAMI board as trustees this year. The festival will introduce a competition section for Indian films this year.
Narayanan said that to celebrate 100 years of Indian Cinema, “Mumbai Film Festival is introducing a competition section for Indian films with the cash reward of Rs.15 lakh.
“These films will be judged by the foreign award winning technicians and directors so that it will be a foreign jury looking at Indian films.”
Following last years roaring response to French films, “Rendezvous with French Cinema” will be hosted by the fest in collaboration with the French Embassy in India and Unifrance.