[T]he 2011 edition of Mumbai Film Festival can boast of a strong French connection. Not only does it include a strong line-up of French films in a special section, but it will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of Cannes Critics Week by presenting a retrospective of 25 films.
The special section called ‘Rendez-vous with French Cinema’ will be co-organized with the French Embassy in India and Unifrance. For those who remember, this is the fourth edition of the event in Mumbai which has been merged with the Mumbai Film Festival this year. The past three editions were held separately as film festivals. This section will bring to Mumbai some of the critically acclaimed contemporary French films which include The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius, The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Robert Guédiguian and Declaration of War by ValérieDonzelli.
The Artist which will open the section competed at the Cannes Film Festival 2011 and Jean Dujardin won the award for the Best Actor for his role in the film. It is the story of a silent-movie superstar set in the Hollywood of 1927. The film pays a tribute to the silent-era while recreating its fun for the audiences.
The Snows of Kilimanjaro premiered in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival 2011, while Declaration of War is France’s official entry for 2012 Academy award in the foreign-language category.
The other films that will be screened in this section include Beloved (“Les Bien-aimés”) by Christophe Honoré, Fabienne (“Coup d’éclat”) by José Alcala, Service Entrance(“Les Femmes du 6ème étage”) by Philippe Le Guay, The Conquest (“La Conquête”) by Xavier Durringer, The Long Falling(“Où va la nuit”) by Martin Provost, The Minister (“L’Exercice de l’état) by Pierre Schöller and Tomboy by Céline Schiamma.
The 13th Mumbai Film Festival will also be part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Cannes Critics Week (Semaine de la critique) worldwide. Cannes Critics Week is a parallel section at the Cannes Film Festival which was started in 1961, during the fourteenth edition of the festival by the French Association of Film Critics.
This section features first and second feature films by directors from all over the world and was responsible for discovering talents like Bernardo Bertolucci, Jean Eustache, Otar Iosseliani, Ken Loach, Wong Kar Wai, Jacques Audiard, and Arnaud Desplechin.
The retrospective of Cannes Critics Week that will be presented at the Mumbai Film Festival includes: Omar Gatlato by Merzak Allouache (Algeria / 1977), The Hour of the Furnaces (la hora de los hornos) by Octavio Getino & Fernando Solanas (Argentina / 1970), Esther by Amos Gitai (Austria-Israel-Uk / 1986), Alone or with Others by Denys Arcand (Canada / 1962), Armadillo by Janus Metz Pedersen (Denmark / 2010), See How They Fall (regarde les hommes tomber) by Jacques Audiard (France / 1994), Goodbye Gary (Adieu Gary) by Nassim Amaouche (France / 2009), Sitcom by François Ozon (France / 1998), Boy meets Girl by Leos Carax (France / 1984), Since Otar Left (depuis qu’otar est parti…) by Julie Bertuccelli (France-Belgium-Georgia / 2003), As Tears Go by (wong gok ka moon) by Wong kar-wai (Hong kong / 1988), Rana’s Wedding (Jerusalem, another day) by Hany Abu-assad (Palestine-Netherlands-UAE / 2002), Provincial Actors (aktorzy prowincjonalni) by Agnieszka Holland (Poland / 1979), Walkover (walkower) by Jerzy Skolimowski (Poland / 1965), Everybody dies but me (vse umrut a ja ostanus) by Valeria Gaia Germanica (Russia / 2008), Loving Memory by Tony Scott (UK / 1971), Kes by Ken Loach (UK/ 1969), Me and You and Everyone We Know by Miranda July (USA-UK/ 2005), Or (Mon Trésor) by Keren Yedaya (France-Israel / 2004).
Eva Lonesco’s My Little Princess starring Isabelle Huppert will represent France in the International Competition at the festival.
The French treat for the audiences doesn’t end with the main-course of old and new French films. The dessert will be the presence of French filmmakers at the festival. The Mumbai Film festival will welcome Muriel and Delphine Coulin, directors of 17 Girls, Martin Provost, director of The Long Falling (“Où va la nuit”), José Alcala, director of Fabienne(“Coup d’éclat”), Stéphane Robelin, director of And if we all lived together? (“Et si on vivait tous ensemble?”) and Nassim Amaouche, director of Goodbye Gary(“Adieu Gary”) which won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Critics Week in 2009.