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Rima Das’ Bulbul Can Sing wins top honour at 20th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival

Rima Das' Bulbul Can Sing is a coming-of-age story about a teenager, Bulbul, living in a village in Assam, fighting her way through love and loss as she figures out who she really is.

Written by Priyanka Sharma | Mumbai |
Updated: November 1, 2018 10:42:55 pm
Rima Das Bulbul Can Sing MAMI The closing ceremony was hosted by actors Vicky Kaushal and Bhumi Pednekar.

National Award-winning filmmaker Rima Das took home the Golden Gateway award in the India Gold category for Bulbul Can Sing at the 20th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film festival with Star. She clinched the top award at the fest for the second year in a row. Last year, Das’ Village Rockstars won three awards at the Mumbai Film Festival.

Bulbul Can Sing is a coming-of-age story about a teenager, Bulbul, living in a village in Assam, fighting her way through love and loss as she figures out who she really is.

Rimas Das dedicated the award to her mother. “I am giving this award to my mom. Last time Village Rockstars received three awards at MAMI and this is our first win for this film. I’d like to thank the universe and God for giving me so much strength,” a visibly emotional Das told the audience.

Recalling an incident from her teenage years to assert how her mother has been an empowering figure in her life, Das said after her brother refused to accompany her to a shoot of an Assamese TV show, her mother asked her why she couldn’t go alone to the set.

“So, thank you Mom for pushing me in the real world. I’m so blessed that I’m doing what I love to do. I am so happy that cinema is giving me so much freedom to create my world and characters,” the director said.

She also sought from the audience blessings and love for the Oscar journey of Village Rockstars.

The film, which won two National Awards this year, has been selected as India’s entry in the best foreign language film category at the 2019 Academy Awards.

The Silver Gateway award in the India Gold category was shared between Aditya Vikram Sengupta directorial Jonaki and Ridham Janve directorial Golden Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain. Jonaki also won the special mention for the Oxfam award for best film on gender equality.

In the International Competition, the Golden Gateway award went to director Phuttiphong Aroonpheng’s Manta Ray, while filmmaker Marcello Martinessi’s The Heiresses received the Silver Gateway award. The special mention went to Reza by Alireza Motamedi.


The Oxfam Award for best film on gender equality was given to director Ivan Ayar’s Soni. Starring Geetika Vidya Ohlyan and Saloni Batra in the lead roles, the film explores the lives of two Delhi policewomen and how the two female officers react to the rise of sexual violence in the country’s capital.

Acclaimed filmmaker Darren Aronofsky was honoured with the excellence in cinema award, which was presented to him by director Vishal Bhardwaj.

Aronofsky, who also had a masterclass at the festival, praised Mumbai and expressed his gratitude to Indian audience for appreciating his films.

“I have been to Mumbai a few times and I love the city because it is insane. It’s more insane than New York. (It has) incredible people and food. More important, it is a great fountain of movies. I am thankful for this honour. I am very happy that my films are watched here,” he said.


The festival paid a tribute to late Bollywood star Sridevi. One of her last collaborators, director Gauri Shinde paid a moving tribute to her as she recalled the times she spent with the late National Award-winning actor.

Present at the ceremony was Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor, whose eyes welled up as he listened to Shinde’s speech. After Shinde left the stage, Kapoor left the room, wiping away his tears. Shinde’s director husband R Balki followed him.

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The closing ceremony was hosted by actors Vicky Kaushal and Bhumi Pednekar. The festival’s chairperson Kiran Rao also announced the dates for the next edition of MAMI. The 21st edition will take place from October 17 to 24, 2019.

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First published on: 01-11-2018 at 10:33:06 pm

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