15 films screened on opening day of inaugural festival.
By Prabhav Hiremath
MUMBAI: Navi Mumbai, the satellite city of Mumbai, flagged off its inaugural international film festival – aptly named the Navi Mumbai International Film Festival (NMIFF) – at the Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil Auditorium, Nerul (East), on Friday.
Film lovers who thronged the venue for the festival were greeted by the presence of Audi Q7 (festival’s drive partner) at the entrance gate. The red carpet flooring gave the festival a classy and festive look.
The festival commenced with the felicitation of noted Marathi and Hindi actor Sachin Pilgaonkar by Pramod Hindurao, Chairman, CIDCO.
“It has been over 50 years in the film industry for me and after this (felicitation) I will re-start again my journey,” said Pilgaonkar.
Pilgaonkar and Hindurao also participated in a lamp lighting ceremony, along with Sagar Naik, Mayor, Navi Mumbai; Manda Mhatre, former MLC, Navi Mumbai; actor Rakesh Bedi, and jury members Marc Baschet, Imtiaz Hussain and Rohini Hattanagadi.
Founder and Chairman, NMIFF, Sachin Khanna said it was a dream come true for him to have the festival in Navi Mumbai.
“After attending several film festival across the country, I always wanted to do something for Navi Mumbai and that is how NMIFF was born,” said Khanna.
The opening film of the festival was ‘Titanic Love’, directed by Mark Pressde. The film, however, which got loud applause was Marathi feature film, Wakya, directed by Deepak Kadam, who was present at the festival along with the cast of the movie.
The film left behind such an impressive effect in the auditorium that once it got over, the audience gathered around the cast and crew members and began conversing with them, asked for autographs and posed for some clicks. The organizers decided to conduct an impromptu interaction round, giving the public to have a one-on-one talk with the filmmakers and cast members.
In response to one of the queries, Kadam said, “Wakya as you saw doesn’t have the stereotype treatment of having a hero, a heroine and a villain, the fight and love with happy endings. The story of the film is the real life situation of a village in Maharashtra where the unfortunate ones don’t even have the privileges of government schemes due to lack of proofs like ration cards, voter ID cards etc. So, I want to showcase on a global level of what happens in such conditions, so that awareness is spread amongst public.”
A total of 15 films were lined up for screening on the inaugural day. The prominent and noteworthy ones were Marathi film ‘Satnaagat’ (feature film category) by Raju Parsekar, starring Mahesh Manjrekar; Italian film ‘L’appuntamento’ (professional short film category) by Gianpiero Alicchio and ‘Jash ne Daawat’ (Student Short Film Category) by Karan Asnani.