×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Costa-Gavras, Kamal Hassan Lauded At Mumbai Festival Bow

Diplomats and industrialists jostle with film-makers for limelight

MUMBAI – Nathalie Baye, Bruce Beresford and Asghar Farhadi each drew warm applause at the opening ceremony of the Mumbai Film Festival on Thursday. But the standing ovations were reserved for Greco-French director Costa Gavras (“Z,” “Missing”) and local polymath Kamal Hassan, respectively recipients of the festival’s international and Indian lifetime achievement awards.

The festival also drew significant political and industrial heat with the attendance of Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and billionaire industrialist Anil Dhirubhai Ambani, whose Reliance Entertainment group is the festival’s chief financial backer.

Shyam Benegal, veteran film-maker and the festival’s chairman, made a plea from the stage for more financial support from the state – a plea which Chavan appeared to respond positively to – but mostly the red carpet bash was about getting the eight day event off to a glitzy, glad-handing and gleeful start.

Also on stage were Canada-based Indian film maker Deepa Mehta (“Fire,” “Water”), Japanese director and actor Masato Harada, Sonakshi Sinha (“Dabangg”), a fast-rising starlet from a Bollywood dynasty, Afghan director Siddiq Barmak and Australia’s Jill Bilcock, a regular editor on the films of Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge”) and Shekhar Kapur (“Elizabeth”.

Francois Richier, France’s ambassador to India, produced the evening’s biggest surprise, by announcing that his country had awarded (but not yet presented) Benegal with the civilian honor, Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Hassan, who has been involved with over 200 films as actor, director, producer and screenwriter, proved the evening’s most diplomatic. “I’ve never had a method,” he said. “But I’ve had many great teachers. Many of them have been film festivals.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Calm With Horses

    Nick Rowland Talks About Toronto Debut Film 'Calm With Horses'

    “Calm with Horses,” which made its world premiere in Toronto’s TIFF in the Discovery section, is the feature directorial debut of Nick Rowland (Amazon series “Ripper Street”), and stars Barry Keoghan (Marvel’s upcoming “The Eternals,” “Dunkirk”), Cosmo Jarvis (“Annihilation”), and Niamh Algar (BBC’s “The Virtues”). The script, which was adapted from Colin Barrett’s short story [...]

  • Colin Trevorrow Directs Jurassic World Short

    Colin Trevorrow Returns to Jurassic World in Short Film 'Battle at Big Rock'

    Dinosaurs are roaming the Earth again. In a new short from “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow, rogue beasts wreak havoc on a family camping trip. The eight-and-a-half minute film, titled “Battle at Big Rock,” takes place a year after the events of “Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom.” The 2018 blockbuster — starring Chris Pratt and Bryce [...]

  • Bert Kreischer The Machine

    Legendary Lands Rights to Bert Kreischer’s Viral Story 'The Machine' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Legendary has optioned the rights to develop comedian Bert Kreischer’s story “The Machine” into a feature film following its viral success, sources tell Variety. The video has generated more than 85 million views on Facebook and YouTube since hitting the social media channels in December 2016 and Legendary moved aggressively to land the rights. Kreischer [...]

  • Margot Robbie poses at the launch

    Margot Robbie in Talks to Executive Produce, Star in Comedy 'Fools Day'

    Margot Robbie is in negotiations to executive produce and star as a fourth-grade teacher in New Line’s comedy “Fools Day.” New Line has acquired Cody Blue Snider’s short film of the same name to adapt into the feature project. Snider, who co-wrote and directed the short, will direct the full-length feature from a script he [...]

  • M Night Shyamalan'Glass' film premiere, Arrivals,

    M. Night Shyamalan Sets Two New Films at Universal

    M. Night Shyamalan will write and direct two new movies at Universal Pictures, the studio announced Monday. The currently untitled thrillers will be released in theaters on Feb. 26, 2021 and Feb. 17, 2023, respectively. “M. Night Shyamalan continues to create exciting, highly original stories that keep global audiences on the edge of their seats,” [...]

  • La Llorona

    Venice Film Review: 'La Llorona'

    Guatamalan writer-director Jayro Bustamante had a dream debut with “Ixcanul” in 2015: The richly textured folk drama premiered in Competition at Berlin and won him the Alfred Bauer Prize, before going on to healthy international arthouse exposure. So it’s surprising that Bustamante’s subsequent work, while amply delivering on his first feature’s promise, has been comparatively [...]

  • La vaca

    Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Boards Debut by Chile’s Francisca Alegria (EXCLUSIVE)

    In what marks the company’s first Latin American project, Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Pictures has boarded Chilean filmmaker Francisca Alegria’s debut feature, “The Cow Who Sang a Song About the Future.” The multi-Emmy-winning actor and his El Dorado partner Casey Bader will serve as executive producers of the film, slated to start principal photography in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content