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Celebrating Cinema!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Mumbai Film Festival organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) will run for a week starting October 21, followed immediately by the Third Eye Asian Film Festival. For genuine cinema lovers, who catch all the festival action, Kolkata, Goa, Thiruvananthapuram and Pune film festivals follow, and then there’s the Mumbai Documentary festival, which will be held as an annual event from 2012. Other cities like Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore have their own festivals too.

Indian festivals are becoming important in the international circuit. While clearly not in the league of Cannes, Berlin, Venice better films are being entered in here as well.

Ever since Reliance has taken over the MAMI festival, bigger budgets have been introduced. This obviously means better financed films, which results in attractive competition giving these festivals a certain status globally.

Over the years, the festivals organized by various cities have proved to be better organised and with better attendance as compared to the International Film Festival in Goa. Going by the crowds at least in Mumbai and Pune, a new audience has also been gestating, and the delegates are not just the usual bunch of cinephiles.

Even though world cinema has become more accessible with DVDs of practically every film are available in India and for cheapsters there’s the internet download even the rarest from the net, sometimes from pirate sites.

But for real cinemaphiliacs the big screen is the only way to watch cinema. This almost dying breed has got a new lease of life through film festivals. The Third Eye Festival retains its seriousness and calls itself a directors’ festival, shunning the usual tamasha of glamour that marks other festivals.

However slowly, a new breed of cinemaniacs is developing in Mumbai, and will make decisions on the fate of mainstream cinema. The success of some recent offbeat offerings will eventually fuel a burst of creativity among young filmmakers with fresh ideas.

Maybe be that is why, despite DVDs and pirated downloads, film festivals serve are successful as they help like-minded people come together in a transient community with the same cause and ideals. So Mumbai has a date with cinema from October 21-November 4. Catch it!

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