Films on contemporary burning issues were predominant in MIFF2018 –International Jury ‘Judging the films from vast variety of content, presentation and technology was a tough job’

Mumbai International film festival for documentaries, short films and animation has grown up prominently over the years and we received a large number of entries this year from which the selection was really a tough job, said Jury members for International Competition section while interacting with media today.

The jury members were Dominique Dubosc, noted film & television director from France, Baby Ruth Villarama a film maker from Philippines, Elisa Paloschi a Canadian producer, director and cinematographer, Haobam Paban Kumar, a documentary maker and Ashish Kulkarni, one of the pioneers in animation education in India and is chairman of FICCI for animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics Forum

While sharing their experiences on selecting films for awards, Mr Ashish Kulkarni said that this year MIFF received large number of films dealing with contemporary, burning issues; three or four films were on same issues dealing with different perspective. Many films were on hard hitting topics, women oriented and emotional stories with valuable contents. He further added that while you judge anything first you have to introspect, and it was indeed a tough job for us to select a few from number of quality work.

Elisa Paloschi, while adding her comments on the selection procedure said that, the films which spoke to audience effectively were strong. Documentary makers dealt with vibrant subjects. She lamented that documentaries are still considered secondary as compared to feature films so documentary makers always face funding problems. She appreciated all entries and said that it was really difficult to choose films for award from plenty. She further said that the Jury has recommended some good films to get special mention.

Baby Ruth Villarama, who visited India for the first time shared her experiences about the country and work as a jury. She said that Documentaries showed her real India, positive and optimistic India and a shiny India too. She said that we do not make films for fame or money but for our commitment to present real stories to the society. She appreciated Films Division’s role in supporting budding film makers. To enhance quality and technical knowledge of new comers, Ruth suggested organizing workshops frequently.

Haobam Paban Kumar remembered his association with MIFF since 2006 as a participant. He said that working as a jury was a learning experience for him. He suggested that Films Division should outreach its activities so that many people would get the chance to watch good documentaries. On this, Mr Manish Desai, Director, Films Division, assured that they are carrying out documentaries to the corners of India with the help of local authorities and this will continue in future too.

Explaining the criteria to select best films for awards, Jury members said that, with technology and quality, subject and content were equally important. To explain shortly, films which get connected to the audiences are good films, said Elisa.

While replying to question on lack of funding, Mr Ashish Kulkarni opined that film industry should be considered as an ‘Industry’ only then it will get proper finance. He informed that since last four years, Information and Broadcasting Ministry is singing co-production treaties with other countries as ‘audio-visual co production’ which will enable documentary makers to co-produce their films with foreign film makers.

The festival received 194 entries from 32 countries in the International competition Selection of films for Competition was made by independent Selection Committees. International Selection Committee recommended 25 films for the MIFF 2018 International Competition.

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