The 15th  Mumbai film festival organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) will be held from October 17-24  2013 at Liberty Cinema, Metro Big Cinema, Marine Lines as the main festival venues and Cinemax, Versova  as the satellite venue.

The 15th Mumbai film festival’s impressive line up of 200 movies and other highlights were revealed today at the curtain raiser press conference held at the Taj Mahal hotel  in the presence of Shyam Benegal, Filmmaker and Chairman, MAMI,  Amit Khanna, and  Ramesh Sippy, Trustees, MAMI,  Srinivasan Narayanan, Director, Mumbai Film Festival along with various dignitaries from the Indian Entertainment industry.

This year too the festival has announced new initiatives as part of the Mumbai Film Mart (Filmy Room and India Project Room) and a brand new Experimental film section to the festival. These new initiatives will be in addition to the other competition sections such as the ‘International Competition’, ‘Celebrate Age’ and ‘Dimensions Mumbai’. The total prize money at this year’s festival is USD 220,000.

The 15th Mumbai film festival will also host a celebration of Spanish Cinema organized in tandem with the Embassy of Spain in India.  This celebration package will also include classics such as El Verdugo, Seven Days in January, Carmen amongst others.

In addition to this a special Spotlight on Cambodian films will be presented, while also continuing to showcase the blossoming film movement in Afghanistan with the Kabul Fresh section for the second year in succession. The festival will homage to Yash Chopra,  Rituparno Ghosh and Pran.

Furthermore the best of contemporary French cinema will be presented as part of ‘Rendez-vous with French Cinema’ section in association with the Embassy of France in India and Unifrance.

 Entertainment industry veterans and international personalities Costa Gavras and Kamal Hassan will be conferred with the annual Lifetime achievement award for their contribution made to global cinema.

The festival will also witness a one of a kind panel discussion organized by the Academy of Motion Picture arts and sciences, with eminent guests in attendance.

Side bar events at this year’s festival include master classes by acclaimed director Bruce Beresford, noted Editor Jill Billcock, a special Q & A with Leos Carax and Asghar Farhadi in addition to other planned activities. Noted German critic Daniel Kothenschulte will groom the collegians selected for ‘Mumbai Young Critics’.  Additionally a Music Composer lab has been set up and will be run by acclaimed composer Ilan Eshkeri of films such as Stardust, Johnny English, Ninja Assassin and Hannibal rising amongst others.  The Screenwriters lab will be conducted by Equinoxe with the attendance of Claire Dobbin, Script consultant and Chair of the Melbourne International Film Festival and James v. Hart scriptwriter of films such as “Hook” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

Speaking on the occasion, Shyam Benegal, Filmmaker and Chairman of MAMI, said, “The Mumbai film festival each has been proving its mettle and has grown from strength to strength. This would not have been possible if it were not for the continued support of Reliance Entertainment, Mrs Tina Ambani, the media and the Government of Maharashtra. We are happy to say today the Mumbai film festival has reached a stature of being a truly international film festival “

Commenting on the line up of films, Srinivasan Narayanan, Director, MFF, said “ I have had the privilege to see the festival grow each year and can safely say this year too we promise to showcase the best of world cinema.  With a strong line up of films including Indian premieres of those such as Blue is the warmest color, Rocket, Ilo Ilo, Don Jon, Le Passe (the past) among the numerous other award-winning films. This has been possible only because of the gracious support of Mrs. Tina Ambani and Reliance Entertainment”

This year’s ‘International Competition’ Jury will be presided by acclaimed director Bruce Beresford, of academy award winning film “Driving Miss Daisy” fame. He will be assisted by eminent film personalities including the French actress Nathalie Baye who has worked with pillars of the French Nouvelle Vague such as Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Goddard, Japanese film-maker Masato Harada who has made over 19 films in a 25 year career, the versatile actress Konkona Sen Sharma and award-winning director Deepa Mehta renowned for her path-breaking films Fire, Water and recently adapted Midnight’s children.

The Jury President for ‘India Gold 2012’ will be Oscar winning director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation and Le Passe). Fellow jury members will include Afghan film-maker Siddiq Barmak whose film Osama was nominated for the Academy awards, British director Waris Hussein, the award-winning editor Jill Bilcock who has films such as Moulin Rouge and Elizabeth to her credit and Roger Garcia, film critic and pundit on Asian cinema who is also the executive director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

The Celebrate Age competition Jury will be headed by noted director Hansal Mehta who’s most recent feature Shahid has been received with critical acclaim at festivals around the world. The jury panel will also consist of noted journalist Siddharth Bhatia, acclaimed photographer Ishika Mohan, director Tanuja Chandra and  actor Divya dutta.

Renowned director Shoojit Sircar, whose films include Yahaan, Vicky Donor and the political thriller Madras Café, will preside over the Dimension Mumbai Jury.  Members of the Dimension Mumbai Jury also include noted actor Rajkumar Yadav  of Kai Po Che and Shahid fame, acclaimed director Ravi Jadhav whose films Natrang and Balak Palak was met with both critical and commercial acclaim, noted screenwriter Niranjan Iyengar  who has been credited with acclaim for his work in films such as Kurbaan, Wake up Sid and My name is Khan amongst numerous others and  actor Tisca Chopra.

The Mumbai Film Mart will be held at the Taj Vivanta by Taj President and will take place from the 18-20 of October.The Film Mart will also host the Official Spanish Delegation for co-productions along with Producers from Japan, France and Germany also looking for co-productions. This in addition to hosting Round table presentations and group meetings on ‘Animation, 3D and Post-Production’ and ‘Books2Screen’. Furthermore new initiatives such as the India project room and Filmy room have also been set up this year on.