Celebrities sashaying down the red carpet, Anil Kapoor’s infectious enthusiasm blaring through the mic and master dreamweaver Zhang Yimou being felicitated with the Lifetime Achievement award for Foreign Film Personalities, the opening ceremony of MIFF 2012 at Jamshed Bhabha Hall, NCPA last night was a grand affair, to say the least.

The evening began with an introduction of the various juries, which includes Andy Tennet, Gary Kurtz, Declan Quinn, Geoffery Gilmore, Rahul Bose, Sanjay Suri, Shobha De, Sachin Kundalkar, Reema Katgi and Umesh Kulkarni amongst others.

Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou received his lifetime achievement award to a standing ovation from the audience. “I’ve always believed that films are a bridge between cultures,” he said, to a cheering crowd. “This is not the end, but the beginning.”

A very enthusiastic (and loud) Anil Kapoor then charmed the audience with a nostalgic introduction of Anupam Kher, as the Kher-starrer ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ was screened as the opening film of MIFF 2012.

Snatching the mic away from the emcee (which was a good thing, given the gaffs in the programme) Anupam Kher shared his experience working in the David O Russel film that co-stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Chris Tucker. While the rest of cast and crew were unable to make it to the screening, no love was lost as Cooper enthralled the audience with a special message recorded for MIFF’s opening night, complete with the actor proclaiming, “Ganpati Bappa Morya!”

And just in case you think the theatre is where the entertainment is, think again.  We overheard this jewel of a conversation at the refreshments counter.

Ila Arun: Hi Mahesh! How are you?

Leander Paes: Err… I’m good, thank you. How about you?

If the opening night is any indication, we are in for a very interesting film festival indeed.

Lights, camera, action at the MIFF 2012

Boney, Sridevi Kapoor and Anil and Tina Ambani at 14th MFF Opening Ceremoney


Sridevi inaugurating MIFF

Tina Ambani

Chinese Director Zhang Yimou and Mrs. Tina Ambani

Shyam BenegalManisha KoiralaRanvir ShoreyAnil KapoorAnil KapoorAshutosh GowarikarSahana Goswami
Anupam Kher
R BalkiR Balki Gauri Shinde