Our cineaste in Mumbai is enthused…
By Rodrigues C
MAMI returns – yes, the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) film festival is back this year after a gap of three years.
To be held from tomorrow (October 27)-November 5, the festival will have a bigger lineup of films this year with its primary focus being on South Asian cinema.
The festival’s opening film, Hansal Mehta’s ‘The Buckingham Murders’ will be screened at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC).
A red carpet celebrity driven night is also on the anvil. Filmmakers Mani Ratnam and Luca Guadagnino will receive the Excellence In Cinema Award.
The South Asia Competition Section, which has been introduced this year, will feature 14 films from the region including works from debutants and second time filmmakers from India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh and diaspora filmmakers from Germany and UK.
British Bangladeshi Leesa Gazi’s ‘A House Named Shahana’, Dibakar Das Roy’s ‘Dilli Dark’, Fazil Razak’s ‘The Sentence’ and Sumanth Bhat’s ‘Mithya’ will be part of the section along with Jaishankar Aryar’s ‘Shivamma’ – a winner of the top prize at the 2022 Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), Bhutan’s Oscar entry Pawo Choyning Dorji’s ‘The Monk And The Gun’ and Fidel Devkota’s ‘The Red Suitcase’, which premiered at Venice are also included.
Participants at the South Asia Competition will vie for the Golden Gateway and Silver Gateway Awards, which were earlier part of the International Competition.
The non-competitive section Focus South Asia will comprise 22 features and 24 shorts with films such as ‘Stolen’ by Karan Tejpal, ‘All India Rank’ by Varun Grover, ‘Pushtaini’ by Vinod Rawat and ‘Mai’ by Milin Dhamade from countries such as Myanmar and Bangladesh along with works by diaspora filmmakers from Australia, Germany, USA, UK, Poland and Spain.
Icons South Asia will include eight works such as ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ by Anand Patwardhan, ‘Indi(r)a’s Emergency’ by Vikramaditya Motwane, and BIFF entries ‘Paradise’ by Prasanna Vithanage and ‘Something Like An Autobiography’ by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki.
The Gala Premiere South Asia strand will feature Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Kennedy’, Devashish Makhija’s ‘Joram’, ‘Everybody Loves Sohrab Handa’ by Rajat Kapoor and Wendy Bednarz’s ‘Yellow Bus’.
The World Cinema capsule will accommodate 99 projects from as many as 35 countries.
Prominent among these include Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘Strange Way of Life’, Bradley Cooper’s ‘Maestro’, Madeleine Gavin’s Sundance winner ‘Beyond Utopia’, Cannes Palme d’Or winner ‘Anatomy of a Fall’ by Justine Triet, Hong Sang-soo’s ‘In Our Day’, Pedro Costa’s ‘The Daughters of Fire’, Alice Rohrwacher’s ‘La Chimera’, Kore-eda Hirokazu’s ‘Monster’, Ken Loach’s ‘The Old Oak’ and Aki Kaurismäki’s ‘Fallen Leaves’.
The Marathi Talkies strand, which was launched in 2016 to showcase works from the festival’s home state of Maharashtra, will be curated by Sachin Chate.
Films in this section include ‘Aatmapamphlet’ (Auto-bio Pamphlet) by Ashish Bende, Dhekun (Bedbug) by Kshitij Joshi, ‘Vaalvi’ (Termite) by Paresh Mokashi and ‘Ved’ (Madness) by Riteish Deshmukh, which includes a cameo by Salman Khan.
Another section, Dimensions Mumbai, dedicated to Maharashtra’s capital Mumbai, will screen works such as ‘Should I Kill Myself, Or Have A Cup Of Coffee?’ by Vidar Joshi, ‘Halfway’ by Kumar Chheda and ‘City of Mirage’ by Anjani Chadha. Dimensions Mumbai was launched by Jaya Bachchan in 2009.
A segment called After Dark, curated by Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival’s Jongsuk Thomas Nam, will screen the restored version of Park Chan-wook’s Korean hit ‘Oldboy’, which completes 20 years in November, ‘Night of the Bride’ by Virat Pal, ‘Late Night with the Devil’ by Cameron Cairnes and Colin Cairnes, and ‘Dream Scenario’ by Kristoffer Borgli.
Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films, which will celebrate young talent, will have projects such as ‘Badminton’ by Dibakar Banerjee, ‘Next, Please’ by Rishav Kapoor and ‘Themb’ (Drop) by Shrirang Phatak.
The festival is a dream come true for a diehard movie buff what with more film sections such as After Dark, World Cinema, Restored Classics, MAMI Tribute and 40 world premieres along with 45 Asian and more than 70 South Asian premieres. And with as many as 250 films hitting 20 screens spread across eight locations in Mumbai, it surely doesn’t get better than this.