Mumbai: French film ‘My Little Princess’, directed by Eva Ionesco and produced by Rancois Marquis, swept the awards at the international competition at the 13th Mumbai Film Festival, winning the Best Film, Best Director and the Best Actress award that went to Isabelle Huppert and Anamaria Vartolomei.
This year, six of the 14 films in competition were by first time woman directors in the festival, organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI).
Other awards included Jury Award for technical excellence to ‘Las Acasias’ from Argentina, Best Actor award to Gibert Sikote from ‘The Salesman’, Jury Grand Prize to ‘The Salesman’ and Special Jury Award in international competition to the German film ‘Michael’.
Morgan Freeman was given the International Lifetime Achievement Award. In a video message, Freeman said: "I have played crooks and cops. I have even played god. But my goal has always been to tell stories. I cannot describe how proud I am of having worked for so long. I work for the joy of doing it and I hope you have got as much joy from my work as I have."
Freeman-starrer ‘Dolphin Tale’ was the closing film of the festival.
In a crisp message on getting the India Lifetime Achievement award, lyricist and filmmaker Gulzar said: "It is very rare that you get a pat from your loved ones at home… and I have finally got a pat from my own family. Thank you."
Globally renowned film director Hugh Hudson, the jury president for the international competition section, choose to stand up for Iranian filmmakers.
"We stand united for the right of filmmakers arrested and imprisoned in Iran. Nothing is more dangerous than the silencing of the arts. We ask the Iranian government to release the filmmakers and allow them to work," he read from a statement approved by many global film organisations.