#JioMAMI – the Mumbai Film Festival
Mumbai has been at the heart of the Indian film industry so it is only natural that it has its own film festival. MAMI or the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image has been hosting this festival since its inception in 1997 but it almost didn’t happen last year because of an acute paucity of funds. But thanks to the enthusiasm and dynamism of Anupama Chopra, a renowned Indian author, journalist and film critic, and currently Festival Director, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, MAMI is now hosting the 17th edition of this film festival to give Mumbaikars in her own words[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]create a movie-soaked week in which you can see the best of Indian and international cinema. We want to foster a cultural exchange, enable conversations and shape a cinematic sensibility.”[/tweetthis]
I attended the Press Conference held yesterday at the St. Regis Mumbai ( formerly the Shangrila and very briefly the Palladium hotel before it was taken up by Starwood Hotels earlier this year), at which the festival was announced in the presence of members of the Board of Trustees that included Kiran Rao, Chairperson – MAMI, Anupama Chopra – Festival Director, Filmmakers Dibakar Banerjee and Vishal Bhardwaj among others.
So what’s special about JioMAMI?
According to Kiran Rao, Chairperson, 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival :
- Presentation of Two Excellence in Cinema awards –
- Excellence in Cinema award ( International) will be given to the iconic Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai who has created landmark films and won laurels around the globe including two Palme D’Or nominations.
- Excellence in Cinema award (Indian) will be given to two legendary screenwriters who changed the course of Indian cinema and created several classics – Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar.
- The India Story will feature 31 never-been-shown before , 13 of which are competing for the best film award in the India gold section. There are 15 fiction features and 5 documentaries in the India story section.This year, the festival received an unprecedented 248 feature film submissions in 29 languages, including Pashto, Wanchu and Jaunsari. The selection of Indian films includes 14 World Premieres, and 17 India Premieres.
- A special section called ‘Half Ticket’ for kids, which will have an exciting slate of children films from around the world which will be shown to school children across Mumbai to expose young audiences to high quality and diverse films. There will be a children’s jury
- A new section, After Dark bringing a fantastic selection of genre films to Mumbai – horror, thriller and science fiction curated by Jongsuk Thomas Nam, who is the artistic director of one of Asia’s biggest genre film fests PIFF in South Korea. The six films in this section, will open with Ludo, made by Qaushiq Mukherjee.
- The Grand Finale – MAMI Movie Mela– a one-day celebration of cinema. On October 31st, when you walk into Mehboob Studio, you will enter a different world – a world of movie characters, movie merchandising, movie books, dvds and above all, movie conversations.
3 more exciting things in store!
MUMBAI FILM MART
On Friday, October 30th, the festival will host a ‘Mumbai Film Mart’ a unique space created to bridge the gap between content creators and content platforms. In this one day market, the festival programmers will curate 25 complete Indian projects. It will train the makers of the content to design 5 minute pitches that need to be made which could help sell their films better and bring content platforms from studios, distributors, VOD hubs, airlines, digital destinations, television channels, production houses, regional channels under one roof to hear these pitches and bid for the films.
YOUNG ADULT WORKSHOP
On Monday, November 2nd and Tuesday, November 3rd, a ‘Young Adult Workshop’ under the able guidance of leading filmmakers like Imtiaz Ali, Zoya Akhtar and Avinash Arun aimed at imparting knowledge on the nuances of direction, editing and production of films will be held. This section will be a part of the Children’s where young children will be mentored.
YOUNG CRITICS LAB
A lab for aspiring film writers and critics. Jio MAMI Mumbai film festival’s Young Critics lab is an attempt to hone and mentor future film journalists of the country. Meenakshi Shedde who has mentored film journalists from 2 day workshops conducted 3 months prior to the festival will select 20 students for the final workshop which will be conducted by a renowned film critic and writer Peter Bradshaw. The students will then cover the events over the festival and the best out of the lot will win the critics award at the festival. Hopefully this exercise will create a pool of writers and critics that serves as a hiring ground for publications around the country.
If the dazzling trophy designed by Nirav Modi is anything to go by, JioMAMI promises to be a sparkling affair for all Mumbaikars especially Movie Junkies. So what are you waiting for?
Visit the JioMAMI site for further details on where to go for which movie and when!
And you’d better hurry, tickets are fast selling out.
For more information on MAMI and the upcoming 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival scheduled to be held from 29th October- 5th November 2015, MAMI Website, Twitter handle, Facebook Page, Instagram and YouTube as follows:
YouTube: Mumbai Film Festival