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With a record 12,000 delegates, 314 films, MIFF closes on a high note

The Golden Thread directed by Nishtha Jain wins best film in international competition section

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MIFF 2024

With a record-breaking attendance of 12,000 delegates and the screening of 314 films, the 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) concluded on a high note. This edition of MIFF witnessed unprecedented delegate participation, with enthusiasts attending various screenings, panel discussions, and masterclasses. Films from 59 different countries were showcased during the festival, which not only took place in Mumbai but also extended to venues in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Pune for the first time.

At the closing ceremony, Akash Ganga directed by Nirmal Chander Dandriyal was announced as the best Indian documentary film while the best film in international category was given to The Golden Thread directed by Nishtha Jain.

Festival Director and MD, NFDC Pritul Kumar expressed his satisfaction with the overwhelming response to this year’s MIFF. “The remarkable turnout demonstrates the growing interest in documentaries, shorts, and animation among a dedicated audience. The success of MIFF should be attributed to robust programming, setting new benchmarks for future editions.”

With a host of eminent personalities like Richie Mehta, Santosh Sivan , Daniela Volker, Ketan Mehta, Tushar Hiranandani, Alphonse Roy, T.S. Nagabharana among others attending the festival, the 18th MIFF was also lauded for its excellent organization and venue design ensuring accessibility and protection from the monsoon rains in Mumbai. Special measures, such as providing training to volunteers for attendees needing special assistance, and installing ramps across the festival campus, enhanced the overall experience for all participants.

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Working with the not for profit organisation Svayam, volunteers and teams at the festival were made to undergo special training to better equip them with patrons that needed special attention. Venues were also made accessible with the instillation of ramps across the festival campus. There were also special screening for people with hearing and visual impairments. Anuradha Paudwal sang dheere dheere from Aashiqui for the media.

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“Festival like these are backbone of cinema. If film festival won’t exist, everything will rely on box office. Small films get opportunities to get noticed and flourish with film festivals.” Said Akshay Oberoi at the closing ceremony.

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Shekhar Suman who also graced the closing ceremony, said, “when commercial films were being made, NFDC started supporting parallel cinema with filmmakers like Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani and others. The initiative of docu bazaar this year at MIFF is great. I remember my childhood watching documentaries because we were not allowed to watch many feature films. There’s so much to learn from documentaries and I believe they need to be encouraged…I am glad NFDC is doing that.”

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The festival this year also digitised the screening bookings and its badge registration , to further facilitate accessibility and time efficiency. Furthermore stalls from various countries, Indian states, start ups and the skill council allowed for interested audiences and delegates to interact, learn and engage.

The first ever docu bazaar that was put up, saw 108 projects in Work-in-progress and Viewing Room, while for Co production there were 16 projects selected from 63 entries. 15 producers interested in backing documentaries, shorts and animation were part of the docu bazaar this year.

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