The much awaited documentary film festival in India, the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Film or MIFF as it is known popularly, will see the grand inaugural on 28 January, 2018 at the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai.The week long fiesta of best documentary, short fiction and animation films from across the world will conclude on 3rd February.The oldest and largest film festival for non-feature films in South Asia, which began in 1990 is organized by the Films Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India. The Organizing Committee of MIFF is headed by the Secretary, I&B and consists of eminent film personalities, documentary makers and film critics.The response to the 15th edition of MIFF has been overwhelming, signifying a vibrant documentary culture in India and the world. The festival directorate has received a record 790 entries, with 194 entries from 32 countries in the International competition and 596 entries in the National competition. Selection Committees have been set up to evaluate the entries and recommend them for National and International Competition Sections.Giving a major boost to the documentary movement, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has approved doubling of prize money for the Golden Conch Award winning Best Documentary Film in the International Competition to Rs 1 million (Rs 10 lakhs) from the earlier Rs 500,000 (Rs 5 lakhs).
Golden Conch, Silver Conch and trophies with handsome cash awards are part of the competition in categories like Best Documentary, Best Short Fiction and Best Animation film. Besides, technical awards will be given for Best Cinematography, Editing and Sound Design. Other highlights are the Pramod Pati Special Jury award, Best Student Film and Best Debut film award all of which carry trophy and cash awards. Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA) and the Government of Maharashtra, through Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari join hands with Films Division in instituting awards.The festival directorate is constituting two Juries consisting of eminent film makers from India and abroad to judge best films in both International and National competition.Apart from films in various competition categories, best documentary short and animation films produced in India and abroad will be screened under special packages including Jury retrospectives and best of festivals. Special packages like Russian and Turkish animation films, French short films, NFAI Archival packages, films from South East Asia are being organized. There will be screening of films in Homage section too.On the sidelines, cinematography and pitching workshops will be held during the festival providing a rich and wholesome experience for film makers and cineastes.
A business platform for documentary film makers is being planned by FICCI during the current edition of MIFF to help film makers find funding and screening avenues in India and abroad. The proposal is in initial stages.The coveted V Shantaram lifetime Achievement Award for promotion of documentary movement in India will be conferred upon an eminent documentary film maker chosen by an independent jury. The Award money for the Lifetime Achievement award has also been doubled from Rs 500,000 (Rs 5 lakhs) to Rs 1 million (Rs 10 lakhs). All together cash awards of Rs 5.8 million (Rs 58 lakhs) will be given away during MIFF 2018.While feature films generally address the entertainment needs of people, documentaries fill up the information needs of people. In a bid to make MIFF a people’s festival, the delegate fee has been kept at a modest Rs 100 while there will be no fee for student delegates. The screenings will be held in the theatres in Films Division complex, 24-Pedder Road, Mumbai and nearby Russian culture Centre from January 29, 2017. Come to Mumbai and celebrate the documentary movement.
About Films Division
Established in 1948, Films Division has pioneered the documentary movement in India. It has documented the transformation of India as an independent nation through a series of news reels and Indian News Review, which today form part of rich archival footage. Over the years, Films Division has produced over 9,000 titles, out of which nearly 2,000 titles hold lasting value. Besides undertaking documentary production in house, Films Division supports the Independent Documentary makers through its Outside Production plan scheme. Recently, it has also joined hands with Civil Society Organizations (NGOs) engaged in documentary and short film production by routing film production endowments.