Following a grand opening ceremony of the Jagran Film Festival, Mumbai 2013 and consequent celebrations to mark the commencement of the six-day long cinematic extravaganza, the second day of the  Festival began with much enthusiasm amidst an army of devoted cinephiles eagerly awaiting the screening of the day’s first film – 200 Pounds Beauty.

Showcased under the category World Panorama, 200 Pounds Beauty, was a Korean film of 120 minutes Directed by Kim Yong-Hwa. It was a beautiful story of an overweight phone sex employee Hanna, who’s also a ghost for a famous pop singer. The film dealt with Henna’s insecurities, which lead her to attempt suicide but got interrupted by a phone call that changes her entire life. The film was highly appreciated by the cinephiles. The second film of the day was Hassan Benjelloun’s 108 minute Arabic film ‘The Red Moon La Lune Rouge’. The film, which came all the way from Morocco, was a fiction based on the biography of a great musician, who overcame the bitterness of infirmities, material deprivation and human cruelties by an unshakable faith. It was about the permanent challenge of artistic creation, inspired by an exceptional love. The never-dying spirit of this character had motivated everyone.

Regarded as one of the top 10 films showcased at this festival, The Children’s Republic was the next in line. Directed by Flora Gomes, this English film from Portugal was set in the West Africa. It was the story of a small country, which every adult had abandoned. But the children get organized and make The Children’s Republic a stable and prosperous country; however, they no longer grow up. In this 78 minute film the director had beautifully shown the power of children to change the world. Other films showcased in this category were Ricky Rijneke’s Hungarian film ‘Silent Ones’ and Lars Kraume’s German film ‘Meine Shwestern’ (My Sisters), also labeled as one of the top 10 films showcased at the festival. This 85 minute film was the story of a 30 years old Linda suffering from a congenital heart disease. On sensing her near death she made an attempt to come closer to herself and her two sisters – Katharina and Clara for once more.

The Indian Showcase category began with Kamal Hassan’s critically acclaimed film Vishwaroopam. Made in Tamil and Hindi, this 147 minute film was the story of Vishwanathan, a Kathak dance teacher in New York, and his rather happy marriage with Nirupama who was a nuclear oncologist. She hired a detective to keep a watch on her husband, who apparently ended up in a wrong place that revealed Vishwanathan’s true identity. In the afternoon of the day, the audience enjoyed some great Indian regional feature films such as Rajeev Kumar’s Punjabi film Nabar, Niranjan Thade’s Gujarati film Saptapadii (The Businessman’s Wife) and Gajendra Ahire’s Marathi film Touring Talkies. These films were appreciated by both Hindi and regional cinema lovers. All the films screened in this category also formed the part of the competition.

Some Indian classics, along with one Korean, were also screened on this day, under the Jagran Classics category. These were Girish Kasaravalli’ Ghatashradha (Kannada), Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand (Hindi), Ritwik Ghatak’s Meghe Dhaka Tara (Bengali), Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali (Bengali), and Kim Han-Min’s War of the Arrows (Korean).

Master Class, a panel discussion by LA Film Council on Co-productions marked the beginning of the Jagran Shorts segment. This open forum for interaction witnessed a panel discussion that featured illustrious participants from the film industry. Through the discussion they provided an insightful perspective on Co-productions. In the later half of the day, Cyrus Dastoor introduced cinephiles to some great national and international short films. Ara Arush’s The Hunter (Russian), Yacine Bouaziz’s Al Djazira (English), Dan Carrillo’s Zero Hour (English), Valentin Gagarin, Shujun Wong and Robert Wincierz’s Reverie-Day Dream (Animated, Silent from Germany), Gaurav Shimpi’s Chumbak (Marathi), Jean-Bernard Marlin’s La Fugue (French) and Chema Carcia Ibarra’s Misterio (Spanish) were some of those films. Beside these, MS Sathyu’s Garam Hawa (Hindi) and Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar directed Bombay Talkies (Hindi) were also screened in this segment.

The forthcoming days at the festival will host many more special segments dedicated to National and International cinema – screening numerous feature and short films across genres, directed by debutants as well as some eminent cinematic personalities from around the globe.

The final edition of the Jagran Film Festival is scheduled from the  September 24-29, 2013 at FunRepublic, Andheri West, Mumbai.