The MAMI Mumbai Film Festival was inaugurated yesterday and has much to offer in the coming days, in terms of contemporary and classic cinema, both Indian and international.
Big names in Indian cinema gathered yesterday at the legendary Royal Opera House in Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra in western India, to attend the opening ceremony of The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) Mumbai Film Festival 2016.Actress Jacqueline Fernandez hosted the opening ceremony at the Royal Opera House, which reopened after almost a decade of restoration. Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Shabana Azmi, Anurag Kashyap, Imran Khan, Zoya Akhtar and Abhay Deol were present at the opening night, among other notable industry professionals.
The festival will be showcasing a wide range of talents from across the world and across genres in cinema, with classics and the lesser-known cinema from earlier days as well. There will be 175 films screened at the festival, including features, documentaries and short films from 54 countries. The film festival will entertain cinephiles with screenings and events until October 27 in PVR cinemas across Mumbai, the city that is the home and birthplace to the Hindi film industry popularly known as Bollywood.
Sessions are to be held with directors and actors conducting Q & A alongside panel discussions on issues such as ‘Women in Cinema’. The categories include a regional flavour of Maharashtra, with ‘Marathi Talkies’ and ‘Dimensions Mumbai’ in place. ‘Discovering India’ and ‘India Story’, staying true to their names, offer within their categories, quality Indian movies. ‘World Cinema’ and ‘International Competition’ will be offering cinema lovers a taste in films and documentaries from across the world.
Much to look forward to
Among the international films that are to be screened, there is Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ‘Endless Poetry’, an autobiographical introspection paying a tribute to the artistic heritage of Chile. Another film to look out for is Pablo Larraín’s ‘Neruda’, which shows the struggles faced by the famous poet owing to the poet’s communist leanings and an exploration of the nuanced definition of self that Neruda has made.
A film titled ‘The Little Prince’ by Mark Osborne from France is a re-imagination and visualisation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 children’s classic novel of the same name. Dziga Vertov’s film on the process of filmmaking ‘Man With A Movie Camera’ has been restored from a 35mm print and will be accompanied by a live performance by the Vitaly Tkachuk Quartet from Ukraine.
Actress Konkona Sen Sharma’s directorial debut ‘A Death in the Gunj’ is the opening film of the festival, and it was screened today. Among some of the other films to watch out for is ‘Loev’, directed by Rohit Mittal, documenting the evolving nature of a friendship with the theme of homosexual love. ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, a film showcasing four feisty women chasing their dreams and desires through secret acts of rebellion, is another film that is being touted as a must-watch.
A miniseries which has been revived into a film, based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel Idiot, titled ‘Ahamaq’, is also eagerly awaited. Starring Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, this four hour piece contextualises the original plot of the novel into the landscape of Mumbai and Goa in India. ‘Kalpana’, the 1948 Uday Shankar classic, which has been restored by the World Cinema Foundation, is also an unmissable film.
With a formidable and interesting array of films and documentaries being screened, the MAMI Mumbai International Film Festival is an exciting event to attend.