What the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star offers this year

Hany Abu-Assad to head 2019 MAMI international jury

Hany Abu-Assad

Hany Abu-Assad   | Photo Credit: AFP

Filmmakers Vetri Maaran and Zoya Akhtar among other members

Academy award-nominated Palestinian-Dutch filmmaker, Hany Abu-Assad will head the international competition jury at the forthcoming Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival with Star. Tamil filmmaker-writer Vetri Maaran, Oscar bound filmmaker-writer Zoya Akhtar, Executive Director of the Telluride Film Festival Julie Huntsinger, and Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival Mark Adams, are the other members of the high-profile jury this year.

Bringing out the human dimension of conflict in his work, Nazareth-born Mr. Abu-Assad, who later immigrated to the Netherlands, is best known for showcasing Palestinian cinema globally with films like Paradise Now (2005) and Omar (2013). Entering the world of cinema as a producer with the feature film, Curfew (1994), the 57-year-old filmmaker has in the last two decades brought out the hopes, aspirations as well as helplessness of Palestinian people with empathy, insight and intimacy.

He first caught international attention with Rana’s Wedding (2002), one of the earliest Palestinian films to play at the Cannes Film Festival, in the International Critics’ Week. Detailing the everyday lives of two suicide bombers in Tel Aviv, Paradise Now became the first Palestinian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; it won the Golden Globe that year in the same category.

Eight years later, Omar dealing with a young man caught in the murder case of an Israeli soldier, became the second film from Palestine to compete for the Oscars.

MAMI’s international competition foregrounds new cinematic voices and is open to debut filmmakers from around the world who have made films within one calendar year of the festival.

Last year American filmmaker Sean Baker headed the jury, awarding the top honour to Manta Ray — Thai filmmaker Phuttiphong Aroonpheng’s artistic take on the plight of the Rohingya.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:53:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/hany-abu-assad-to-head-2019-mami-international-jury/article29550352.ece

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