Lee Daniels' The Butler Forest Whitaker

“Butler,” “Blue,” “Sin” and “Qissa” to screen at Reliance-backed event

HONG KONG — “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” will open an impressive lineup assembled by the Mumbai Film Festival (Oct. 17-24, 2013).

The festival, organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) and backed by Reliance Entertainment, today unveiled a selection of some 200 films, and cash prizes worth $220,000.

The structure includes an international competition for first films, a new section on experimental titles and works by artists from other sectors, as well as returning segments dedicated to French cinema and two different Indian film strands. Other sidebars will celebrate Spanish film, spotlight Cambodian cinema and a growing film-making trend in Afghanistan.

The competition showcases 13 titles including those debut efforts that have already made an impression on the international festival circuit Anthony Chen’s “Ilo Ilo” (winner of the Camera d’Or at Cannes), Kim Mordaunt’s “The Rocket” (Laos-set drama that won top prizes in Tribeca and Berlin) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s controversial “Don Jon.”

The competition will be judged by a previously announced jury headed by Australia’s Bruce Beresford.

“I have had the privilege to see the festival grow each year and can safely say this year too we promise to showcase the best of world cinema,” said festival director Srinivasan Narayanan.

The weighty ‘World Cinema’ section spans Jean-Marc Vallée’s “Dallas Buyers Club;” Alex Gibney’s “The Armstrong Lie;” Bill Condon’s “The Fifth Estate;” Xavier Dolan’s “Tom at the Farm;” Ronny Yu’s “Saving General Yang;” Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past;” Ken Loach’s “The Spirit of ’45;” Jia Zhangke’s “A Touch Of Sin;” J.C.Chandor’s “All Is Lost;” and Palme d’Or winner “Blue is the Warmest Color,” by Abdellatif Kechiche.

The competitive India Gold section includes “Liar’s Dice,” directed by Geethu Mohandas; “Crossing Bridges,” by Sange Dorjee Thongdok; “The World of Goopi and Bagha,” by Shilpa Ranade; “Virgin Talkies,” by K R Manoj; “A Silent Way,” by Manju Borah; “Monologue,” by Vaibhav Abnave; “Invincible,” by Jahnu Barua; “Powerless,” by Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar; “Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost,” by Anup Singh; “Oonga,” by Devashish Makhija; “Sunglass” by Rituparno Ghosh; and “Mastram” by Akhilesh Jaiswal. The India Gold jury is headed by Asghar Farhadi.

The festival will also include previously announced lifetime achievement awards for Constantin Costa-Gavras and Kamal Hassan, as well as tributes to the recently departed Yash Chopra, Rituparno Ghosh and Pran.

Among the seminars and other side events is a first time ‘Music Composers lab.’

Returning is the Mumbai Film Mart (Oct. 18-20) to be held at the Taj Vivanta hotel.

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