Features & Opinion

20 films you must watch at Mumbai Film Festival 2012

By NewsDesk • Published on September 27, 2012

[F]rom Palme d’Or winner “Amour” to the latest offerings from some of the biggest names of world cinema such as Alain Resnais, Abbas Kiarostami, Bernando Bertoluci, Manoel de Oliveira , Brillante Mendoza, Ken Loach, Jacques Audiard, 14th Mumbai Film Festival has a lot to offer to the filmbuffs.

The festival offers an exciting lineup of more than two hundred films, spread over about a dozen screen and seven days! To help our readers decide we’ve picked up the most talked about films from festival circuit.

14th MFF runs from October 18th-25th, 2012 at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), and Inox, Nariman Point, Liberty Cinemas, Marine Lines as the main festival venues and Cinemax, Andheri and Cinemax Sion as the satellite venues.

To get delegate pass for the festival, you can register here:


1)      Beast of the Southern Wild

Dir.: Benh Zeitlin (USA/ 2012 /Col./ 92’)

Section: International Competition for the First Feature Films of Directors

Directed by Benh Zeitlin, Beast of the Southern Wild won four awards at theCannes film Festival this year including the Golden Camera for the best first feature film and the international critics (FIPRESCI) prize of the Un Certain Regard section. It also won the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic of the Sundance Film Festival this year.

The film is a story of a six-year-old Hushpuppy who must learn the ways of courage and love.  She is faced with both her hot-tempered father’s fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs. The movie stars Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry.

Beast of the Southern Wild is the thirty year old Benh Zeitlin’s first feature. Reportedly, the director has already started work on his next film.


2)      Children of Sarajevo

Dir.: Aida Begic (Bosnia-Herzegovina-Germany-France-Turkey / 2012 /Col./ 90?)

 Section: World Cinema

Children of Sarajevo by Aida Begi? won a special jury mention at Cannes Film Festival where it was screened in the Un Certain Regard Section. The film won two awards, Best Actress and Cineuropa Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival 2012. It is the official Bosnian entry for the foreign language Oscar race in 2013, defeating Nedžad Begovi?’s Cell Phone Movie to get in.

The film follows the lives of Rahima (23) and Nedim (14), orphans of the Bosnian war. After crime-prone adolescent years, Rahima has found comfort in Islam and she hopes her brother will follow in her footsteps.

Aida Begi? has 6 awards and 4 nominations to her name. She graduated from the Sarajevo Academy of Performing Arts in 2000 majoring in direction. In 2004, she founded an independent production company, MAMAFILM with her colleague Elma Tataragi. Snow, their first feature film under this banner won the Grand Prize of Cannes Critics Week.


3)      You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet

Dir.: Alain Resnais (France-Germany / 2012 /Col./ 115?)

Section: World Cinema

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet comes from the 90 year old veteran French – German film maker. Alain Resnais is one of the founding fathers of French New Wave.  The film was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2012.

Based on two plays by Jean Anouilh, the film’s protagonist Antoine d’Anthac gathers together all his friends who have appeared over the years in his play ‘Eurydice’. These actors watch a recording of the work performed by a young acting company, La Compagnie de la Colombe. During the screening, Antoine’s friends are so overwhelmed by their memories of the play that they start performing it together, despite no longer being the appropriate age for their various roles.

Alain Resnais has a directed total of 49 films apart from the numerous films that he has written, edited and acted in .His film Hiroshima mon Amor is considered a classic in world cinema.


4) Love (Amour)

Dir.: Michael Haneke (France-Germany-Austria / 2012 /Col./ 127

Section: World Cinema

Armour won the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2012. This is his second Palme d’Or at Cannes in the span of three years; The White Ribbon won him the first.

The film narrates the story of Georges and Anne, two cultivated, old and retired music teachers. Their daughter Eva, also a musician, lives abroad with her family. The couple’s bond of love is severely tested when one day Anne has an attack. The film features Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva and Isabelle Hupper.

The 70 year old Austrian film maker has won more than 50 awards. In his film career of about half a century, he has made films in French, German and English. His first feature film The Seventh Continent won him the Ernest Artaria Award at the Locarno Film Festival in 1989.


5) Cosmopolis

Dir.: David Cronenberg (France-Canada-Portugal-Italy / 2012 /Col./ 108’)

Section: World Cinema

Cosmopolis premiered in competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

Riding acrossManhattanin a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager’s day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart. The film stars Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti, Samantha Morton, Sarah Gadon, Mathier Amalric and Juliette Binoche.

Canadaborn David Cronenberg is dubbed as the ‘King of Venereal Horror’ or ‘The Baron of Blood’. He gained this status after the release of two of his horror films, Rabid and They Came from Within. Thereafter, he has been the auteur of numerous films in the same genre and has garnered much acclaim of international critics.


6) Like Someone in Love

Dir.: Abbas Kiarostami (France-Japan / 2012 /Col./ 109?)

Section: World Cinema

A French-Japanese production, the film was in competition for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2012.

Like Someone in Love is a Japanese language film written and directed by the Iranian film maker Abbas Kiarostami. The film trails the life of a young Japanese woman who finances her studies through prostitution. The film casts Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno and Ry? Kase.

A prominent figure in the contemporary Iranian cinema, Tehranborn Abbas Kiarostami is no new name for cinephiles. Through the Olive Trees, The White Balloon and Taste of Cherry are few of his films that brought him international recognition. He was awarded the UNESCO Fellini-Medal in Gold for his achievements in film, freedom, peace, and tolerance in 1997. He has been on the jury of various major film festivals like the Cannes Film Festival (1993), Montréal World Film Festival (2001) and was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of his outstanding contribution to film culture.


7) Captive

Dir.: Brillante Mendoza (France-Philippines-Germany-UK / 2011 /Col./ 120?)

Section: World Cinema

Captive was nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival 2012.

The multi-national production film recreates the 2001 kidnapping of Therese Burgeoine, a Christian missionary, by the Abu Sayyaf. Renowned French actress Isabelle Huppert plays the lead role and portrays the 377 day ordeal of the social worker.

Brillante Mendoza, the 52 year old Phillipino film maker has won 36 awards across festivals for the total 16 films he has directed. He won the Best Director Award at Cannes Film Festival in 2009 for Kintay, the Caligari Film Award at the Berlin International Film Festival 2008 for Slingshot and his Foster Child won the Best Film Award at the 2008 Durban International Film Festival.


8) Me and You (Io e Te)

Dir.: Bernardo Bertolucci (Italy/ 2012 /Col./ 103’)

Section: World Cinema

Me and You was screened out of competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

The film is the story of an introvert teenager who tells his parents he is going on a ski trip, but instead spends his time alone in a basement.

Bernardo Bertolucci needs no introduction; his filmography says it all. Last Tango in Paris, The Last Emperor, Little Buddha, Besieged, The Conformist are some in the list. At the 60th Academy Awards The Last Emperor bagged all the nine Oscars it was nominated for.

Italyborn Bertolucci was honoured with the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival for his life’s work and was presented with the inaugural Honorary Palme d’Or Award at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.


9) Outrage Beyond

Dir.: Takeshi Kitano (Japan/ 2012 /Col./ 110’)

Section: World Cinema

Outrage Beyond was in competition for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival.

A sequel to Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage, Beyond Outrage trails the struggle between the Sanno of the East and Hanabishi of the West when the police launches a full-scale crackdown on organized crime and ignites a national yakuza struggle.

Known as the ‘Beat Takeshi’ in theTokyoshow business, Takeshi Kitano is a filmmaker, comedian, singer, actor, film editor, presenter, screenwriter, author, poet and a painter. He has been thrice nominated for the Palme d’Or Award at Cannes Film Festival (1993, 1999 and 2010).


10) Thy Womb (Sinapupunan)

Dir.: Brillante Mendoza (Philippines/ 2012 /Col./ 106?)

Section: World Cinema

Thy Womb won the La Navicella Venezia Cinema Award and the Nazareno Taddei Award – Special Mention at the Venice Film Festival in 2012 and was also a nominee for the Golden Lion at the same festival.

In the film Shaleha is a Badjao midwife in Tawi-Tawi, who ironically is struggling with her own infertility amidst the deprivation of her community.

This is Mendoza’s second film competing in the same festival. First being Me and You.


11) Gebo And The Shadow (Gebo et l’ombre)

Dir.: Manoel de Oliveira (Portugal-France / 2012 /Col./ 95

Section: World Cinema

Gebo And The Shadow is based on a play by Raul Brandão. Set in the late 19th century, about an honoured but poor patriarch who sacrifices himself to protect his fugitive son.

Born in Portuguese, Manoel de Oliveira began his film career in the 1920s. Since then he has won 43 awards and 23 nominations at film festivals across the globe. Some of his noted works include Voyage to the Beginning of the World (1997), Os Canibais (1988), La Lettre (1999), Je Rentre à la Maison (2001) and the Magic Mirror (2005). He was honoured with the Leopard of Honor at the Locarno Film Festival in 1992 for his life time achievement and the Grand Prix Special des Amériques at the Montréal World Film Festival 1998 for his exceptional contribution to the cinematographic art. At 103, Manoel de Oliveira is the oldest active filmmaker in the world.


12) Beyond The Hills (Dupa Dealuri)

Dir.: Cristian Mungiu (Romania-France-Belgium / 2012 /Col./ 150?)

Section: World Cinema

Beyond The Hills bagged the Best Actress and the Best Screenplay Awards at the Cannes Film Festival, while being nominated for the Palme d’Or in 2012.

The Romanian film is a drama centered on the friendship between two young women who grew up in the same orphanage; one has found refuge at a convent inRomaniaand refuses to leave with her friend, who now lives inGermany.

Cristian Mungiu is the first Romanian director to win the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival. His debut feature film Occident won him 6 awards and took him to red carpets across many festivals.


13) The Angels’ Share

Section: World Cinema

Dir.: Ken Loach (UK-France-Belgium-Italy / 2012 /Col./ 106?)

The film won the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Palme d’Or this year.

The Angels’ Share is the story of a new dad Robbie who vows to turn over a new leaf after narrowly avoiding jail. A visit to a whisky distillery inspires him and his mates to seek a way out of their hopeless lives.

Graduated in Law from St Peter’s College, Oxford, Ken Loach started making film in the late 1960s. His 1966 docu-drama Cathy Come Home was listed number 7 by the British Film Institute in its list of best British films of the twentieth century, published in 1999. Some of his noted films are The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Sweet Sixteen and Kes.


14) The Gardener

Dir.: Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Iran/ 2012 /Col./ 87’)

Section: Busan Selection

Kandhahar, Gabbeh, A Moment of Innocence and The Silence are some of the films that have made  Mohsen Makhmalbaf a big name in the Iranian as well as international cinema. A retrospective on the film maker was organized at the Kerala Film Festival,India in 2001. He has written 27 books, few of which have been translated to 12 different languages. Makhmalbaf founded Makhmalbaf Film House in 1996 to teach film.


15) Rust & Bone (De rouille et d’os)

Dir.: Jacques Audiard (France-Belgium / 2012 /Col./ 120’)

Section: Rendez-vous with the French Cinema

Audiard’s sixth feature Rust and Bones, was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2012 and won the Golden Swann for Best Film at the Cabourg Romantic Film Festival 2012.

Put in charge of his young son, Ali leavesBelgiumforAntibesto live with his sister and her husband as a family. Ali’s bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.

Jacques Audiard has won at the Cannes Film Festival twice (Best Screenplay in 1996 with A Self-Made Hero and Grand Prize in 2009 for A Prophet). Born in France, Audiard made his first feature film Regarde les hommes tomber in 1994. He has served as a jury member at the Venice Film Festival 2002.


16) Here and There (Aquí y allá)

Dir.: Antonio Méndez Esparza (USA-Spain / 2012 /Col./ 110’)

Section: International Competition for the First Feature Films of Directors

Antonio Mendez Esparza’s debut film Aqui y Alla won the Nespresso Grand Prize of Cannes Critics’ Week, the sidebar of Cannes Film Festival.

Pedro returns home to a small mountain village inGuerrero,Mexicoafter years of working in theUS. He finds his daughters older, and more distant than he imagined. His wife still has the same smile. Having saved some earnings from two trips to theUS, he hopes to now finally make a better life with his family, and even to pursue his dreams on the side by starting a band: Copa Kings.


17) Something In The Air (Après mai)

Dir.: Olivier Assayas (France/ 2012 /Col./ 122?)

Section: Rendez-vous with the French Cinema

The film won the Fondazione Mimmo Rotella Award and the Golden Osella at the Venice Film Festival 2012, and was also a nominee for the Golden Lion at the festival.

The film shows an 18-year-old man reacting to the social changes of late 1960’sEurope.

Born in Parisin 1955, Assayas graduated from the French National School of Fine Arts (Paris). He was a jury member at the Venice Film Festival in 1994. Some of his prominent films are Paris, je t’aime, Summer Hours, Clean and Demonlover.


18) Blancanieves (Snow White)

Dir.: Pablo Berger (Spain/ 2012)

Section: World Cinema

“Snow White is Carmen, a beautiful young woman with a childhood tormented by her terrible stepmother, Encarna. Running from her past, Carmen, will undertake an exciting journey accompanied by her new friends: a troupe of dwarves Toreros,” says the official synopsis of the MAMI festival.

Pablo Berger is a Spanish film director and publicist born in Bilbaoin 1963. In 1988 he directed his first short film, Mother .He was awarded a grant from the Provincial Council of Bizkaia to study masters in film atNew YorkUniversity. After completing his Ph.D., he now works as a professor of management at the NYFA (New YorkFilmAcademy).


19) On The Road

Dir.: Walter Salles (USA/ 2012)

Section: World Cinema

The film was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2012 and for the Official Competition Award at the Sidney Film Festival 2012.

On the Road narrates the story of Sal Paradise, a young writer whose life is shaken and ultimately redefined by the arrival of Dean Moriarty, a free-spirited, fearless, fast talking Westerner, and his girl, Marylou.

Walter Moreira Salles, Jr. born in 1956 is a Brazilian filmmaker and film producer of international prominence. Salles attended theUniversityOfSouthern California School Of Cinematic Arts. In 1993, The Guardian listed him in the 40 Best Directors in the world at number 23. He was a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003 and at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2000.


20) Renoir

Dir.: Gilles Bourdos (France/ 2012 /Col./ 111’)

Section: World Cinema

The film competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival 2012.

In his twilight years, Pierre-Auguste Renoir is tormented by the loss of his wife, the pains of arthritic old age and the terrible news that his son Jean has been wounded in action. But when a young girl miraculously enters his world, the old painter is filled with a new, wholly unexpected energy.

Born in 1963, Gilles Bourdos is one of the founding fathers of the French production company Persona Films. His 1998 film Disparus won him his first award at Cannes Film Festival. Some of his noted films are A Sight for Sore Eyes, Afterwards and Disparus.

For the complete lineup click here:

Would you like to recommend a film from MFF 2012 to our readers? Use the comment box to send your recommendations.

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