At the JIO-MAMI film festival 2017

An annual affair with MAMI

The Mumbai Film Festival returns to the city with its 19th edition in a cleaner avatar and a sharp focus on movie binging. The other verticles like the various markets, workshops and movie mela -- all of which took place during the course of the festival till last year — have now been scheduled earlier. “So the week is just to soak in cinema and all the discussions around it,” said Kiran Rao, Chairperson, MAMI.

This edition’s dates, from October 12 to 18, will focus on film screenings and masterclasses. The various workshops for screenwriters, young critics and children, along with the Word to Screen market, took place in the last two months. The movie mela, however, will be held a week before the festival, on October 7.

The line-up for the Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival with Star 2017, was announced yesterday, including a handful of films that made their presence felt at the 2017 Cannes Film festival. There’s the Palme d'Or-winner The Square, by Swedish writer-director Ruben Ostlund and the Cannes Jury Prize-winner Loveless by Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev. The list also includes Sergei Loznitsa’s A Gentle Creature, which competed for the Palme d'Or, and Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, which had its world première at the French Riviera.

MAMI’s world cinema section also features late Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s final film, 24 Frames and the critically acclaimed coming-of-age queer drama Call Me by Your Name, which had its world première at the Sundance Film Festival.

There’s a conscious inclusion of films in lesser-known languages in the upcoming line-up. “We have some films in some languages, which I am ashamed to say I didn’t even know existed,” said Rao. Among the 51 languages that will make their presence felt at MAMI are Ladakhi, Chokri, Brij and Konkani from India; Sami, Kikuyu, Bembe, Nyanja, Tonga, Xhosa, Samoan and Lingala from Africa; Sami from Northern Europe; and Samoan from the Samoan Islands. The opening ceremony will take place at Liberty cinema and the opening film will be Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz, which recently had its world première at the Toronto International Film Festival. Notably, Kashyap is also part of MAMI’s board of trustees, raising questions of favouritism. “We do know Anurag very closely,” said Anupama Chopra, festival director. “But if we saw his film and didn’t like it, there would not have been an issue”.

Kashyap, who was present at the festival’s press conference along with filmmaker Rohan Sippy, said that he was keen on his film being the opening fare at the Mumbai Film Festival. “So much so, that I lost out on the Asian première at [the] Busan [International Film Festival],” he declared.

This year’s international jury comprises British director John Madden (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel); Mexican cinematographer Alexis Zabe; Hong Kong-American actress Celina Jade (Wolf Warriors 2); Argentinian writer-director Santiago Mitre (The Summit); and actor-director Konkona Sen Sharma.

During the press conference yesterday, the organisers refrained from revealing the entire line-up of films and masterclasses. With a repertoire of 220 movies this year, more announcements are expected in the run-up to the festival.

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Printable version | Sep 14, 2021 2:25:18 AM |

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