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MIFF 2018: 42 documentaries, animation films, shorts in national competition

The Mumbai International Film Festival will open with Oscar-nominated documentary film, I Am Not Your Negro.

Manish Desai, director, Mumbai International Film Festival 2018 addresses a curtain raiser press conference of 15th edition of MIFF

Suparna Thombare

A total of 42 Indian films and 25 international films, including documentaries, short films and animation films will compete at the 15th biannual Mumbai International Film Festival.

The festival will open with the 2017 Oscar-nominated documentary film, I Am Not Your Negro, which explores the American Civil Rights Movement.

Around 430 other documentaries will be screened during the festival, from 28 January to 3 February. Films made between September 2015 to 31 August 2017 are eligible to participate in the competition section with awards for Best Documentary, Best Short Fiction Film, Best Animation Film and Special Jury Award, Best cinematography, editing and sound design in the international and national section.

But while 21 documentaries and 19 short films will compete in their respective sections, only 2 animation films will be screened in its competition section.

When quizzed on why only two animation films made it to a category that's consistently growing in India, festival director Manish Desai said, "We had many films that entered the animation competition, but the selection committee was very particular that we should put a film only if its worth it. In fact, if we hadn't found any film worthwhile no award would have been given."

Manish Desai, director, Mumbai International Film Festival 2018 addresses a curtain raiser press conference of 15th edition of MIFF

The long list of Indian documentaries includes films that have created buzz at earlier festivals, like Ask The Sexpert on Mahendra Vatsa's life, the controversial In The Shade Of The Fallen Chinar and Bobo Khuraijam's Ima Sabitri.

Indian documentaries, Kamal Swaroop's Atul, Yousuf Saeed's Campus Rising, Shabnam Sukhdev's Earth Crusaders, Nupur Basu's Velvet Revolution Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya's Cinema Travellers, Satarupa Santra, Farha Khatun and Sourabh Kanti Dutta-directed I Am Bonnie will compete in the international documentary section.

This year the prize money for the Golden Conch, awarded to the best international documentary, has been doubled to Rs10,00,000.

Other special screening packages at this year's festival include SAARC documentaries and shorts, homage to American filmmaker Murray Learner, Brazilian and Turkish animation films, documentaries by women filmmakers from Philippines, French shorts and experimental films, Cuban films directed by veteran documentary maker Santiago Alvarez.

Click for the complete list of films in the competition section at this year's MIFF