Final chapter of 9th Jagran Film Festival kick-starts in Mumbai

Mumbai: Jagran Film Festival (JFF), the largest film fest in the world, in terms of traversing cities, has impressively reached a super-large audience of over fifty thousand across India, with dynamic film content across genres and themes.

JFF 2018, which is in the 9th edition of the series, comes to Mumbai, September 27 to 30, for a grand conclusion with electrifying screenings of assorted top films across languages, cultures, nationalities, categories, and formats.

2018 witnessed a tremendous flock of over 3,800 submissions from 116 countries, of which 200 have been shortlisted to be screened in different cities: New Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Dehradun, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bhopal, Indore, Gorakhpur, Agra, Ludhiana, Hisar, Meerut, Raipur, and finally, Mumbai. The festival began on June 29th, 2018, at Siri Fort, New Delhi, and wraps up at Cinepolis, Andheri, Mumbai, with the coveted Opening Showcase Film (to be announced soon), kicking off the edition.

With an aim to create a platform for commendable film content and its viewers, JFF has been a superb opportunity for newcomers to interact with industry stalwarts, share their creations, as well as connect with a varied audience.

Filmmakers, actors, directors and a host of allied filmmaking partners can be seen fusing over a common subject of exceptional filmmaking themes and its impact on society. Featuring a segment of competiting films, including International and Indian Features, Shorts, Indian Documentaries, non-competitive segments for Special Screenings, Retrospective, Tributes, India Showcase, World Showcase, and Hot Shorts, JFF has fashioned newer avenues for the torch bearers of cinema, from across the globe.

A new feature in JFF 2018 – Competition Category of Indian Documentary Features has been introduced which will be judged by a set panel led by director Sudhir Mishra. Participation includes internationally acclaimed documentaries such as Vinay Shukla and Khushboo Ranka’s An Insignificant Man, Vaishali Sinha’s Ask The Sexpert, Ishwar Srikumar’s Up Down & Sideways, Onir’s Raising The Bar and Kamal Swaroop’s Pushkar Puran.

The India Features Competition includes award-winning films in various languages, like: Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Ee. Ma. Yau (Malayalam), Rima Das’ Village Rockstars (Assamese), Abhay Simha’s Paddayi (Tulu), Pushpendra Singh’s Ashwatthama (Brijbhasha), and Zakaria Edayur’s Sudani From Nigeria.

The Shorts Program will include a competition category with Indian and international shorts and a non-competition category called Hot Shorts.

India Shorts Competition segment will feature shorts from across the country such as: Hesh Sarmalkar’s Clash of Morality, a documentary short, Bismaar Ghar (Gujarati) directed by Shreyas Dashrathe, Siddharth Chauhan’s Paashi (Pahadi, Hindi), Sudha Padmaja’s Eye Test (Malayalam), Saptarshi Bhattacharya’s Adrift (Bengali), Ruthy Pribar’s The Caregiver (English, Hebrew, Gujarati), Reema Sengupta’s Counterfeit Kunkoo (Marathi, Hindi) and Mansi Jain’s Everything Is Fine starring Seema Pahwa and Paulomi Ghosh (Hindi).

International Shorts Competition features applauded narratives, documentaries and animation shorts from 2017-18, like: Johanna Gribaudo and Matias Lebrero’s Chachura (Argentina), On The Waitlist (Taiwan) directed by Hung Yi Wu, Toma Leroux’s Lilly Within the Clouds (France), Rafael Camara’s The Bridge (Brazil), Marianne Blicher’s Odd Job Man (Denmark), Ronak Taher’s Bubble (Iran/Australia), Emil Alfreð Emilsson’s Three Men (Iceland), Mohammad Homouda’s Manicure (Egypt) and an animation short My Mum’s Bonkers, directed by Naomi Van Niekerk.

The non-competitive shorts segment Hot Shorts features some of the best shorts in recent years including Payal Kapadia’s award-winning Afternoon Clouds, (Cinefondation, Cannes Film Festival 2017), Amar Kaushik’s Aaba (Berlinale 2017), animation shorts – Suresh Eriyat’s Tokri and Abhishek Verma’s Maacher Jhol and Aditya Kergaonkar’s Soundproof starring Soha Ali Khan.

The Country Partner will showcase some of the best films from Iran, along with Argentina being the Country Focus. There will also be an Achievers Segment featuring best of Indian biopics.

The India Showcase category films include Turup by Ektara Collective, Himjyoti Talukdar’s Calendar (Assamese), Neelam R Singh’s Tarpan – The Salvation, Arnab K Middya’s Andarkahini (Bengali), Chirag Desgiri’s No Mind and Onir’s Kuch Bheege Alfaaz.

The International Competition category will feature films such as Bekir Bulbul’s My Short Words (Turkish), Agbo Kelly’s Hidden (Nigeria), Kioumars Samadi Tari’s The Stunt Man (Persian), Gary J Hewitt’s Creek (United Kingdom) and Rizgar Husen’s Sacrifice (Kurdish).

World Showcase category will feature films like Amer Salmeen Al Murry’s Fan Of Amoory (Arabic), Sean Brown’s Strictly Professional (United States) and Professor Thompson directed by Andrei Sporea and Edgardo Borrayes.

Basant Rathore, Senior Vice President – Strategy and Brand Development, Jagran Prakashan Ltd., comments, “JFF has come a long way over the last 9 years. We’ve discovered many film makers, and films, and have been able to prepare audiences to receive and appreciate world class cinema. What began as a simple experiment showing a clutch of films has now become the harbinger for culture, education, leisure and community bonding across the 16 markets the festival travels. The festival in its final leg is now arriving in Mumbai, where it’s been warmly welcomed by film aficionados. Looking forward to end this season of JFF on a high.”

Festival Director Mayank Shekhar said, “Having travelled 17 cities, touched audiences in tens of thousands, of course it gives us the greatest pleasure (and understandably, relief as well) to bring JFF to Mumbai in its final leg. For, this is the home of cinema, and also home to some of the most discerning film buffs in the country. Incredible amounts of effort (physically, logistically, and intellectually) has gone into the festival. Look forward to audiences making all of this totally worthwhile!”