Movies

City’s favourite movie carnival is back

Actor Kangana Ranaut, flanked by filmmakers Dibakar Banerjee, Vishal Bharadwaj, Zoya Akhtar, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar, unveils the new trophy and logo of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image on Thursday.

Actor Kangana Ranaut, flanked by filmmakers Dibakar Banerjee, Vishal Bharadwaj, Zoya Akhtar, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar, unveils the new trophy and logo of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

With over 175 films, the festival promises to go even bigger this year

The line-up for the 18th edition of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star was announced on Thursday in the presence of a star-studded panel of trustees that includes Karan Johar, Vishal Bhardwaj, Zoya Akhtar, Rohan Sippy, Kiran Rao, Dibakar Banerjee, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap, Manish Mundra and Siddharth Roy Kapur. It was an auspicious start to the festival, as the heavy-duty panel of trustees were all on time for the press conference.

The home-grown film festival will take place from October 20 to 27. Actor Kangana Ranaut inaugurated the new logo of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), which aims to represent the diversity of the city.

Portugese filmmaker Miguel Gomes will head the International Competition jury, which also includes Anurag Kashyap, while Turkish filmmaker Reha Erdem will head the India Gold jury.

Festival director and film critic Anupama Chopra said the focus this time has been to bring to the fore movies that address gender equality. With the spotlight on women empowerment, a Rs. 10 lakh Oxfam India Award will be given to the best Indian film on gender equality, and Rs. 15 lakh Master Card Award will be given to the best Indian female filmmaker. Director and festival trustee Zoya Akhtar expressed her desire to see a time when these awards become obsolete. However, as it stands today, the awards are imperative to encourage participation of women in filmmaking, she said.

Chairperson Kiran Rao was pleased to note how Jio MAMI had expanded to being beyond just an October event to launching a film club this year that will engage with cinema and cine-lovers all year round. The festival’s other programmes such as ‘The Movie Mela’, a platform for discussions, will continue. ‘Half Ticket’, aimed at children, which till last year was open only to schools, will now be open to public this time round. A new section called ‘The New Medium’ on experimental work is also part of the line-up.

Apart from films, the festival also seeks to promote other forms of storytelling. Awards will be presented to books in Hindi and English that deal with cinema, be it works of fiction, graphic novels, creative non-fiction, reportage or analysis. Hindi is the new language that will be included this year. The festival’s ‘The Word To Screen Market’ will be an interface between filmmakers and publishers for sourcing content, auctioning of rights and the pitching of manuscripts.

When some of the trustees were asked about what the festival means to them, they were generous in their praise. Filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee called himself the most apologetic board member for not having done anything for the good work coming out of Jio Mami. However, he praised the festival for respecting the filmmakers and audience alike. Director Anurag Kashyap noted that when none of his films were finding takers, it was MAMI that screened Black Friday. Vikramaditya Motwane remembered going to the festival way back in 1997 as a delegate. Karan Johar cracked a joke at himself, asking, “Do my films or I look the type to have ever been to any festival?”, while at the same time expressing his appreciation of the festival team and their relentless energy.

Looking back at the months of preparation, Rao said that the primary challenge over the years has often been getting adequate funds for the festival. But with several sponsors onboard this time around, Rao hopes the festival will be held on an unprecedented scale this year.

Registrations for the festival have opened. See www.mumbaifilmfestival.com for details.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:09:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/City%E2%80%99s-favourite-movie-carnival-is-back/article14914325.ece

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