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International film festival opens

Prachi Pinglay

The festival will screen over 100 films from 32 countries

PHOTO: PTI

STAR-STUDDED EVENING: Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan with Shabana Azmi and her husband Javed Akhtar at the 9th International Film Festival organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) at the Y.B. Chavan Centre in Mumbai on Thursday.

MUMBAI: The 9th international film festival organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI) was inaugurated on Thursday with much fanfare amidst the presence of actors like Amitabh Bachchan, who was named the "Indian Cinema's Global Icon."

The eight-day-long festival opened with the Chinese film "The Curse of the Golden Flower" made by Zhang Yimou.

Pyarelal Sharma, of the famous music composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal, was given `The Outstanding Contribution to Indian Film Music Award' and scriptwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar the `Lifetime Achievement Award.' Mr. Pyarelal Sharma, a trained violinist, while remembering all the filmmakers and singers and technicians he worked with spoke about Laxmikant. "Without Laxmiji all this would not have been possible and I remember him," said the composer, who has won several awards and composed for films such as Dosti, Utsav, Karz, and Tezaab.

This year the festival is dedicated to filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee who passed away last year. He was the founder chairman of the academy and his film Anuradha will be the centrepiece of the festival, said Shyam Benegal, present chairman. The festival, supported by Adlabs, will have over 100 films from 32 countries. Several of these films have been showcased and won awards at prestigious festivals such as the Berlin film festival and at Cannes.

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