As Indian filmmakers push the boundary and come up with engaging stories, the Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival with Star cherrypicks 10 movies that celebrate India’s cultural diversity and highlight its contemporary concerns, for its ‘India Gold’ section. The competition section showcases animator Gitanjali Rao’s debut feature Bombay Rose, which explores the ruthlessness of a society where the love and life that reign on the big screen can crush a commoner on its mean streets. The section also features Gurvinder Singh’s Bitter Chestnut (Khanaur) that looks into the issues of migrations and reverse-migrations. While in Just Like That (Aise Hi) by Kislay a widow must face the consequences of making her own choice by going against societal expectations, Pushpendra Singh’s Pearl of the Desert (Maru ro Moti) underscoresp class conflicts through the aspirations of a Manganiyar musician.
The festival will showcase Marathi, Pahari, Maithili, Assamese, Nepali, Hindustani, and Bengali movies under this section. This year also marks the return of MAMI veterans. Bhaskar Hazarika, whose film The River of Fables (Kothanodi) was screened at the festival in 2015, is back with Ravening (Aamis). So is Singh whose National Award-winning Chauthi Koot was screened at the festival. Archana Atul Phadke’s Marathi documentary, About Love, will premiere along with Prateek Vats’ Eeb Allay Ooo!. Vats’ A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings had premiered at Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star, 2017.
Speaking about the line-up, Smriti Kiran, artistic director, MAMI, said: “India Gold is at the heart of our selection. We are an international film festival but bringing the best Indian narratives to the world and to India is at the core of our mission. Festivals from across the world have now begun to look at us as the gateway to credible Indian cinema and we take that responsibility very seriously. I’m happy we are able to take the narrative forward for our storytellers a notch higher every year.” The film festival, which opens on October 17 with Moothon by Geetu Mohandas, goes on till October 24.
This year’s India Gold section will hold world premiere Pearl of the Desert, Achal Mishra’s Gamak Ghar and Saurav Rai’s Invitation (Nimtoh). There will be six India premieres including Bombay Rose and Just Like That. Director of About Love, Archana Atul Phadke said: “Four years after our last film Placebo, we are very excited to bring the story of home to my hometown.” In About Love, Phadke turns the camera towards three generations of her family inside their ancestral home – the 102-year-old Phadke Building in downtown Mumbai and deconstructs the dynamics of this household. Achal Mishra, director of Gamak Ghar, said: “I have been attending MAMI for the last three years. Sitting there in the dark, watching and learning from some of the best films from around the world, I couldn’t have imagined my own film playing on the big screen to such an avid audience.” Mishra too takes a deep look at the family system. Gamak Ghar follows a family reunion at their ancestral home in a North Indian village after the birth of a new member.
INDIA GOLD PICKS
About Love directed by Archana Atul Phadke
Bitter Chestnut (Khanaur) directed by Gurvinder Singh
Bombay Rose directed by Gitanjali Rao
Eeb Allay Ooo! directed by Prateek Vats
Gamak Ghar directed by Achal Mishra
Invitation (Nimtoh) directed by Saurav Rai
Just Like That (Aise Hi) directed by Kislay
Pearl of the Desert (Maru ro Moti) directed by Pushpendra Singh
Ravening (Aamis) directed by Bhaskar Hazarika
That Cloud Never Left directed by Yashaswini Raghunandan