Mumbai film fest to offer perfect cocktail of art and glamour (Curtain Raiser)

Mumbai, Oct 27 (IANS) With a dash of glamour courtesy Bollywood and an eclectic line-up of close to 200 films from across the globe, 17th edition of Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, which begins here on Thursday, promises to offer art and glamour in right proportion.

Critically-acclaimed Indian drama “Aligarh” by Hansal Mehta will open the eight-day fest, which is being organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI). Legendary French filmmaker Claude Lelouch’s “Un Plus Une” will bring the curtains down on the fest on November 5.

For festival director Anupama Chopra and her team, it’s a “proud” moment as the fest gets ready to roll.

“It’s not just films that we’re offering. There’s Film Market, Movie Mela, Masterclasses with some legends and active participation from Bollywood fraternity. It’s the perfect cocktail of art and glamour. We hope people find reasons to celebrate. We’re creating the kind of atmosphere they won’t find anywhere in the country,” Anupama told IANS.

The opening ceremony will be hosted by Kalki Koechlin and will have the who’s who of Bollywood in attendance. Double Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman will perform the signature tune he has created for the festival.

As many as 13 films are competing for the Best Film Award in the India gold section. The winning film will get an investment of Rs.50 lakh from Drishyam Films to support its distribution, sales and festival management.

There are 15 fiction features and five documentaries in the India story category.

There will be six movies in the After Dark section, and Qaushiq Mukherjee’s “Ludo” will be the opening feature, while others include “Tag”, “Turbo Kid” and “Deathgasam”.

In a new section called Half Ticket, exclusively for children, the most outstanding and imaginative live action, animation and documentary features and shorts from across the world will compete for children’s jury awards.

Children will also learn filmmaking from renowned directors and writers at a special interactive session. Some of the films in this section include “Dhanak”, “Song of the Sea”, “Lamb”, “Paper Plane” and “About a Mother”.

In the international competition section, critically-acclaimed films such as “Mina Walking”, “Sleeping Giant” and “Songs My Brother Taught Me” are competing. Filmmaker Raam Reddy’s “Thithi” is the only Indian film in this category.

Ava DuVernay, Academy Award nominated director for “Selma”, will serve as the head of the international jury.

The fest will present two Excellence in Cinema awards – one to an international personality and the other to an Indian. While the international award will be presented to iconic Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai, the Indian award will be handed over to legendary screenwriters Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar.

This year’s international tribute is to French director Agnes Varda, who was given the honorary Palme d’Or this year at the Cannes International Film Festival. The Indian tribute will be to Indian filmmaker Chetan Anand, whose 100th birth anniversary falls this year.

An additional highlight of the event will be an activity called Young Critics Lab, in which 20 handpicked students will be mentored by renowned film critic Peter Bradshaw.

The festival will also host Mumbai Mart, a unique initiative to bridge the gap between content creators and content platforms. In this one-day market, the festival programmers will curate 25 complete Indian projects.

On October 31, Jio MAMI will celebrate cinema at the Movie Mela in Mehboob Studio where leading actors and directors will talk about their work and life. There will be a masterclass by actor Rishi Kapoor, while Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi will talk about creating blockbusters.

Filmmakers like Imtiaz Ali, Zoya Akhtar and Avinash Arun will join hands for the Young Adult Workshop, which is aimed at imparting knowledge in the nuances of direction, editing and production of films for young children.

Popular films from across the globe such as “Taxi”, “The Visit”, “The Assassin”, “The Lobster”, “Mistress America”, “My Mother” and “Youth” will be screened.

(Haricharan Pudipeddi can be contacted at

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