Launched at the initiative of the Reliance Entertainment Group, this festival, which was held this year October 13 through 20, is undoubtedly India's largest and most important film festival in terms of spectator numbers, as well as the quality of programming and its high visibility. Held in three multiplexes in Mumbai (Cinemax Versova, Cinemax Sion, and Metro Big Cinemas), this year's event presented a total of 201 films spread across 342 screenings. Since its inauguration, the festival has attracted increasing interest from spectators. This year, the majority of screenings were held to packed houses, with total admissions to the event reaching 100,000 spectators, including 18,000 admissions for French films (with 62 screenings over 7 days).
Eva Ionesco's film My Little Princess, which represented France in the international competition, was honored with three awards: the Best Actress award shared by Isabelle Huppert and Anamaria Vartolomei and the festival's Grand Prize, which comes with a cash prize of US$100,000.
With 31 French productions and co-productions showcased at the event, France was the second best represented country, after India. The 4th Rendez-vous with French Cinema in India event, whose principal aims are to support the commercial release of French films in India and increase access for local professionals and the public to the diversity of French productions, presented a program of 10 feature films. Among these titles, The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius was presented in a preview screening and as festivel opener, prior to its release in Indian theaters by the distributor Tanweer. The selection also included Beloved by Christophe Honoré, Declaration of War by Valérie Donzelli, Coup d'éclat (screened in the presence of its director José Alcala), The Long Falling (screened in the presence of its director Martin Provost), Service Entrance by Philippe Le Guay, The Conquest by Xavier Durringer, The Minister by Pierre Schöller, Snows of Kilimanjaro by Robert Guédiguian, and Tomboy by Céline Sciamma.
In addition to this selection of French film, a total of 21 French titles featured in other festival sections. The Cannes Film Festival's Critics' Week celebrated its 50th anniversary in Mumbai, with the organization of a large retrospective event showcasing 19 films, including Goodbye Gary Cooper, which was screened in the presence of its director Nassim Amaouche. Directors Delphine Coulin and Muriel Coulin also traveled to Mumbai for the event to present their film 17 Filles, which was screened in the Above The Cut section. The high quality and diversity of the festival program were unanimously praised by the media, industry professionals, and local audiences.
French cinema benefited from maximum exposure at the festival thanks to the distribution of a specific program dedicated to French films, along with an advertising page on the back cover of the official catalogue, and large posters displayed in each theater. A large-scale evening event was held to launch the 4th Rendez-vous with French Cinema, featuring a screening of The Artist and a cocktail party attended by major stars and personalities from the Bollywood scene, the French Consul General, and a French delegation. Guests included the producers Yash Chopra and Ramesh Sippy, the director Shyam Benegal, the producer-director Anurag Kashuap, the actress Kalki, and the director Kiran Rao. French directors at the event met with Indian media representatives and took part in individual interviews. Held in a city that bubbles with enthusiasm for films, music, and Bollywood stars, the Mumbai Festival is unquestionably the most effective showcase for French films in this territory, and the most potent means of boosting the distribution of French films in India.