From screening a diverse range of international and national films to the inauguration of a unique online platform, from a walk down the memory lane remembering late Om Puri and Kundan Shah to the award ceremony on the closing night, the JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival had enough on the plate for cinephiles to cheer for good cinema.
The 19th edition of the JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival closed with Hansal Mehta’s film Omerta and a star-studded award ceremony at the JW Marriott in Juhu with distinguished guests from the Indian and the International film fraternity. The festival showcased a wide range of films over a week when film lovers from Indian and abroad experienced a movie feast that included latest cutting-edge independent cinema, art house films, Bollywood and Hollywood films and cult international movies.
Here’s a quick wrap-up covering the top stories from the festival floor…
MAMI Movie Mandi
JIO MAMI’s new endeavour – MAMI Movie Mandi, an online platform for curated Indian content was launched in JW Marriott in Juhu last week. With a focus to bolster filmmakers in India through platforms that facilitate exchange ideas with the global film fraternity, this online platform will help Indian filmmakers connect to buyers, agents, festival directors and industry professionals across the world. The platform plans to provide visibility to the Indian independent films and bridge gap between filmmakers and the international market. It was introduced and declared open to the world by the MAMI Chairperson Kiran Rao.
Jio MAMI with Star, Creative Director, Smriti Kiran said, “Distribution and Discoverability of content and key areas of concern for the filmmaking community. Setting the ball rolling on an entity like MAMI Movie Mandi, which is the first-ever platform exclusively for curated Indian content, what we are trying to do is to get the world to discover Indian cinema beyond the 20 or 30 films that do the festival circuit or get discovered. We’ve got big plans for this platform. We want to move from finished films to works in progress, web content, manuscripts and books that people should discover from India to convert into any kind of audio-visual content. I hope, we can make a difference with this concept that we have set into motion.”
TIFF Artistic Director, Cameron Bailey said, “India produces hundreds of films every year and dozens of films that could travel the world if we only knew about them. This initiative at MAMI is a terrific one as it will allow people to look for films from India to find them all in one place. The hard part for a festival programmed buying for international distribution is just trying to sift through the hundreds of films and if you don’t have the contact you can’t find those films so anything that helps the international industry to find Indian cinema is a great step forward, and I am glad that MAMI is doing that.”
Remembering Om Puri and Kundan Shah
The recent loss of film director Kundan Shah was also marked with an event that walked down the memory lane of the 1983 cult comedy, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. From the team of the film, Ranjit Kapoor, Satish Kaushik, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Sudhir Mishra had a delightful conversation before a screening of the film at the PVR ECX. They also paid homage to the late actor Om Puri, who played an integral part in this film.
Sudhir Mishra said, “I think it is one of the best-edited films. Kundan Shah kept the narrative very tight. He knew when exactly to call ‘cut’, that is the most amazing thing. I miss this team the most. We always knew that even if there is a tiff, it will be all forgotten the day we see each other.”
Vidhu Vinod Chopra said, “Kundan was never satisfied. It used to take sometimes 72 hours of shoot straight without sleeping. We used to shoot and sleep in between takes.”
Satish Kaushik on being asked about his favourite memory of Om Puri said, “Om Puri heard the narration on a train. He heard it as he was good friends with Naseeruddin Shah. Later, when he shot the Mahabharat scene that’s when he came up to me and said that he just realized it’s a great script.”
— JioMAMIwithStar (@MumbaiFilmFest) October 18, 2017
Noted Indian films
Dipesh Jain’s psychological drama, In the Shadows, was one of the most talked about films screened at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival this year. Bornila Chatterjee’s The Hungry, Hansal Mehta’s Omerta and Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz were some of the other noted films that gained interests from global as well as the Indian audience in the festival.
The female filmmakers especially received a much-needed recognition in this year’s festival. Bornila’s film won the Special Jury Mention for the MAMI-OXFAM Award for Best Film on Gender Equality while Rima Das’ Village Rockstars also got the Young Critics Choice Award.
Vacancy by Anurag Worlikar won the Golden Gateway Award in the Dimensions Mumbai category, Wolf of Chawl Street by Pranav Bhasin and Bambaiwale by Chirag Suryavanshi received the Silver Gateway and the Special Jury Mention Award respectively in the same category.
The closing ceremony was attended by celebrities such Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Rajkumar Hirani, Kabir Khan, Anurag Kashyap, Rajkummar Rao, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Konkona Sen Sharma, Vidhu Vinod Chopra to name a few.
Mumbai, the epicentre of the Indian film industry hosts the Jio MAMI Film Festival since 1997. Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI) founded by late Hrishikesh Mukherjee with the objective to hold an international film festival that the country and the film industry could be proud of. In its 19th edition, the festival has come a long way to materialise the envisaged idea of the stalwarts.
The Festival Director, Anupama Chopra said, “This has been a weeklong celebration of movies. I want to thank our enthusiastic audience and our generous partners for helping us make this edition of MAMI a roaring success.”