Though it was an exhausting task, the eminent juries of MIFF 2020, found it quite an exciting experience of going through over 500 films for the final selection. They recommended some innovative options for the next editions.
Thomas Waugh, Chairperson of Jury of National films of MIFF 2020,announced, “Going through diverse range of films was like an adventure while watching the Documentary, Animation and Short films. There were good films and less good ones. It is regretful to read about sensationalism created by non-inclusion of some documentaries by activities, but we would state that overall the final selection of films was made purely on merits.”
He further stated that the jury would have liked a much broader selection of films representing various parts of this great country. Thomas Waugh is a renowned writer, programmer, critic and the Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the School of Cinema, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.
Chairperson of the International films Jury, Shaji N. Karun stated, “All through these several weeks we spent full day watching the films followed by discussions in the evenings. We have forwarded the report of how to further improve this Festival.”
“With the technological advancement, this is the right time for filmmakers to share their creativity. The idea is to encourage creativity of the new age filmmakers particularly adopting the new digital medium which has seen films coming from different parts of India,” mentioned Shaji N Karun the National Award winner of Best Director for Piravi and other award winning films like Swaham and Vanaprastham.
However, another National Jury member MIFF 2020, Kireet Khurana voiced his disenchantment on receiving fewer entries in the Animation category from Indian animation filmmakers, “I am surprised that there was almost no choice in this category for us. I fail to realize what is keeping away our filmmakers to utilize their inherent creativity to come up with short animation films to match international standards. It is pathetic that we had to choose the best among the worst. Let me put across the fact that there has never been a single film chosen from India in the animation category at the NSE film festival in France.”
“It is heartening to see such tremendous transformation having taken place in the Films Division’s infrastructure and other excellent facilities at the MIFF 2020,venue,” observed Kireet Khurana who has won 6 prestigious President’s National Awards and several other awards for his films. The most noteworthy work by Kireet Khurana is ‘Mahagiri’ the animated film.
Amrit Gangar, member of the International Jury of MIFF 2020 had to say, “Along with the ease, there was a different kind of challenge for us as it was a Herculean Task to put together the films within a timeframe of 2 months. In the international competition we had only 2 animation and 4 fiction films in contrast to one of MIFF’s earlier festivals when we had films from 16 countries.”
A K Bir, the member of National Jury echoed, “It is actually a tough task to be a Jury member with exhaustive viewing sessions. For me personally it was a fruitful experience watching films that explore reality. Though I am satisfied with the films which made it to the festival, I feel that better could have been done. Originality and fearlessness should be encouraged.”
Robert Cahen of the International Jury opined, “I would suggest that there should be an independent curator working all year round so that there is lesser burden on the jury. I highly commend the Films Division for MIFF 2020 as this is the only festival venue where everyone from filmmaking and technicians are available.”
Utpal Borpujari and Pencho Kunchev observed that the number entries could have been higher at MIFF 2020 from diverse cultural arenas internationally if MIFF’s presence is broadened on the online medium, like facilitating the submission of entries through international online portals which are widely used by other Festivals to attract entries from other countries. Other International Jury members Hama Haruka and Rehina Pereira could not attend the Press Conference.
(The feature is reproduced from the Official MIFF 2020 Bulletin, dated 3 February which is written by Paresh B. Mehta, the Editor of FilmyTown.com Entertainment and Lifestyle Portal)