‘The Golden Thread,’ ‘6-A Akash Ganga’ Win Mumbai International Film Festival

Nishtha Jain’s “The Golden Thread” and Nirmal Chander Dandriyal’s “6-A Akash Ganga” won best film at the international and national competitions respectively at the Mumbai International Film Festival, which concluded on Friday.

“‘The Golden Thread’ is a film that is both an homage and an observation of the last vestiges of the industrial revolution impacted by the forces of economic change. The film illustrates the relationship of man to machine but also questions the equation by which capitalism values man as equal only to his labor.  The stunning imagery and sound weave a beautiful narrative that reminds us of the reason why documentary is still such a compelling art form,” the international jury citation said.

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The national jury citation for “6-A Akash Ganga” said: “An entrancing intimate documentary with an invisible protagonist which hypnotically draws you into the reclusive and guarded world of legendary musician Annapurna Devi. Her brilliance and talent would have remained hidden but for this intimate telling by flute-player Nityanand Haldipur, disciple and gatekeeper to the legendary musician. He lets us into his world step by step telling the fascinating story of a famously gifted musician, guru, woman and wife whose artistic and personal life took unexpected turns over and over, leaving one in awe and profoundly moved.”

Other winners at the international competition included Vera Pirogova’s “Sour Milk,” which won best international short fiction film; Marcin and Wiktoria Podolec’s “Zima” international animation film; and Liam Lopinto’s “The Old Young Crow” innovative or experimental film.

Niraj Gera won best sound designer for “The Golden Thread” at the festival’s technical awards that also saw Babin Dulal winning cinematography for “Dhorpatan,” Vignesh Kumulai editing for “Karparaa” and Matt Waldeck a special jury mention for “Lovely Jackson.”

In the national competition, Barkha Prashant Naik’s “Salt” won best Indian short fiction film; Gaurav Pati’s “Nirjara” Indian animation film; Elvachisa Ch Sangma and Dipankar Das’ “Expectation” the debut director award; Sreemoyee Singh’s “And, Towards Happy Alleys” student film; Edmond Ranson’s “Life in Loom” best short film on India in Amrit Kaal (the era of elixir); and Joshy Benedict a special jury mention for “A Coconut Tree.”

Winners at the national competition’s technical awards include Suraj Thakur who won cinematography for “Entangled,” Irene Dhar Mallik and Anuja Thakkar editing for “From the Shadows” and Abhijeet Sarkar editing for “Time for Milking.”

The festival also encompassed the inaugural Doc Film Bazaar, aimed at fostering collaboration in the documentary and animation film industry, which concluded with robust participation across its various segments.

The Co-Production Market selected 16 projects from 63 submissions spanning 10 countries and 29 languages. Some 73 one-on-one meetings took place, complemented by CPM Talks featuring industry veterans.

The Work-In-Progress Lab chose five projects from over 100 submissions, offering mentorship and editing sessions. “Hearsay” nabbed the Prasad Lab Post Production award, while two other projects received discounted DI services. The Viewing Room showcased 116 films across categories, notching up 293 views in its first three days.

The inaugural Buyer and Seller Meet facilitated 76 meetings between content holders and 15 buyers, including OTT platforms, distributors and broadcasters. Participating companies included France’s Babel Docs, Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd., BookMyShow-Stream, Reliance Entertainment, Civic Studios, Drishyam Films, Hungama Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, Pocket Films, Pooja Entertainment, PVR Inox Pictures, School Cinema/LXL, SCJ Entertainment, Zee Entertainment, Creativeland Asia and Docubay Media Pvt. Ltd.

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