What do you think of Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) 2012?
I think it needs to be better organised. This year, for the first time, we managed to have silent Hindi films for the screenings and we just couldn’t manage to get live music for them. I feel the MFF should try and premiere more films like other festivals do. They need to realise that it’s a round-the-clock effort, which needs to be carried out throughout the year. We had a panel to discuss film restoration and conservation, which is again fantastic. But, that’s not enough. There needs to be much more interaction. The change in the venue designated at Inox and the NCPA this time, was great because that way you keep the festival in one place. But I feel that the festival didn’t get enough publicity; it was barely advertised.
How would you assess the growth of the MFF over the last 14 years?
It has certainly grown tremendously. The fact that we had restored prints is proof of that. There have been great restorers who have come here too. It is getting its recognition as I said, if the factors I mentioned are taken care of next year, I think it will only grow further.
How does a festival like the MFF help filmmakers?
You get exposed to a spectrum of films from all over the world. This year, the schedule entails restored films that date back to the ‘30s and ‘40s which is the era of the inception of cinema. So, for the first time, there are screenings of silent Indian as well as Italian films. Some great French films by various directors are part of the line-up too. There is a wide spectrum of Indian and international films.
Is the MFF a great film destination for first-time filmmakers?
Absolutely! Every filmmaker needs the reactions of other people before he makes another film. So, it’s not only a great platform but a source of great inspiration for filmmakers, be it a veteran or a young and aspiring newbie.
In what way can the MFF be better next year?
Like I said, the organisation has to be worked out well. The film selection is all there but we need more world premieres.
(Shivendra Singh Dungarpur is the director of Celluloid Man that was screened yesterday.)