Miff 2022 kickstarts with a colorful opening ceremony

The 17th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short Fiction, and Animation films (MIFF-2022) kick started with a colorful opening ceremony at the Nehru Centre, Worli in Mumbai yesterday. Journalist turned Documentary filmmaker Sanjit Narwekar was honored with the prestigious ‘Dr. V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award’

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles Shri Piyush Goyal inaugurated the seven-day festival organized by the Films Division of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. To promote wider participation, MIFF 2022 has been organized in hybrid mode, and online viewing of films is free for all those who register at https://miff.in, said the Festival Director Ravindra Bhakar.

In commemoration of Bangladesh’s 50 years of Independence the country has been chosen as the ‘Country of Focus’ this year. A special package of 11 films from Bangladesh including the critically acclaimed film ‘Hasina- A Daughter’s Tale’ will be presented at MIFF 2022.

At the opening ceremony, the coveted Dr. V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred upon veteran journalist turned documentary film maker and author Sanjit Narwekar, for his contribution to films through his writings especially film history and the documentary film movement. Narwekar has written and edited more than 20 books on cinema, including ‘Marathi Cinema in Retrospect’, which won him the Swarna Kamal at the National Film Awards. The V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award carries a cash prize of Rs 10 lakhs (Rs 1 million), Golden Conch and a citation.  This award is instituted in memory of legendary filmmaker V Shantaram, who was closely associated with Films Division as Honorary Chief Producer during the 1950s.

Shri Sanjit Narwekar said that it is always gratifying to get an award in the name of the person who has been revered for times immemorial. “It is all the more pertinent to note that the son of late V Shantaram also happens to be my good friend for the past 30 years. Besides my wife who has put up with all my idiosyncrasies, who also deserves this award, I should also thanks all the staff members of The Films Division who have helped me in a big way to do my research. Donning multiple hats as an insightful film historian, a prolific author as well as a dextrous editor and filmmaker, Shri Narwekar has rendered a seminal contribution to the uplifting of good cinema and fine art and of the documentary film movement in particular. Through his lifelong and passionate engagement with the past, the present and the future of films, Shri Narwekar has touched many a heart, stirred many a soul and ignited many a mind towards the good, the great and the beautiful.

Winner of National Award for the Best Book on Cinema in 1996, Shri Narwekar’s passion for film history has manifested in writing and editing more than 20 books on cinema, including ‘Marathi Cinema in Retrospect’, which won him the Swarna Kamal. He is credited with directing Films Division’s ‘The Pioneering Spirit: Dr. V Shantaram’, a biopic of the legendary filmmaker, and writing and directing a number of documentaries on varied subjects. He has also served on the selection committee and Jury of many national and international film festivals, including the National Award Jury for Writing on Cinema.

The jury is delighted and privileged to recommend this prestigious award in humble recognition of Shri Narwekar’s thought leadership, mentorship and a lifetime of honoring the immaculate beauty of fine art, for giving us new eyes to see, understand and manifest this beauty in ourselves and in each other.

Shri Ravinder Bakhar heartily welcomed the delegates and the invitees and said that over 15% good stories aren’t at all bound by the star cast and also added that the world is recognizing the presence of India’s rich storytelling and also world class production values Very honestly, Shri Ravinder Bakhar confessed that restoration as well as Digital was very overjoyed that Piyush under whom he was working in the Railways was the chief guest in the function today. Shri Ravinder also announced that the government had organized a sanction of Rs 600 sanction for restoration as well as digitalization of old films. Shri Ravinder also added that this year the government had decided to keep Bangladesh  which completes 50 years of its Independence as the country of MIFF 2022.

 In his keynote address, Shri Murugan said that Maharashtra is the land of the icon Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the land that taught what real nationalism is and which is the birthplace of moviemaking. Shri Murugan also added that MIFF is the oldest festival which is setting out to showcase documentaries, short films as well as animation films right from 1990.Shri Murugan also added that India’s start ups have created a noise in the Cannes International Film Festival after it showcased the ethos as well as culture of India.

Minister Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Cabinet Minister for Commerce &Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Publix Distribution & Textiles Distribution of India reiterated that India is not only his Janambhoomi but also his karambhoomi though he was born in Delhi and he feels as much at home as he is in Delhi when he is in Mumbai. Shri Piyush also added that the contribution of the late Shantaram and his family has been very important to Cinema as such. Shri Piyush also added that he is glad that low budget films were made in Hindi like Uri and The Kashmir Files which have made a great furore all over the world with their interesting and gripping content. Shri Piyush also added that we should lay more focus on n animation films. Shri Piyush also added that w e should see to it that big production houses ought to come to India and make co-productions to cut costs and ensure livelihood for their producers.

In his vote of thanks, Shri Sanskar Desai, Gen Sec, IDPA reiterated that IDPA has been always a partner with MIFF right from 1990 and promised that his organization will always strive to stand with Films Division as well as NFDC.

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