In Bombay Rose, Gitanjali Rao’s debut animation feature, a young girl who escapes child marriage makes a living as a flower seller on the streets of Mumbai, and also dances, reluctantly, in a club. Nirmali, a married pediatrician in her late 30s, in Bhaskar Hazarika-directed Ravening (Aamis), forges an unusual bond with a young PhD student as they discover a shared love for food — specifically, meat — and that changes her world forever. Gurvinder Singh’s third feature,
Bitter Chestnut (Khanaur), explores a 17-year-old’s dilemma over whether he should live a predictable life in his remote Himalayan village or migrate to the city. Prateek Vats-directed Eeb Allay Ooo! is the story of a young migrant battling monkeys in Delhi as a contractual monkey repeller.
These movies, each telling an exciting story set in India, along with six others — Archana Atul Phadke’s About Love, Achal Mishra’s Gamak Ghar, Saurav Rai’s Nimtoh (Invitation), Kislay’s Just Like That (Aise Hi), Pushpendra Singh’s Pearl of the Desert (Maru ro Moti) and Yashaswini Raghunandan’s That Cloud Never Left — will compete for top honours in the ‘India Gold’ segment of Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival with Star, which opens on October 17.
Expected to host screenings of nearly 190 films from across the world, the festival promises to bring into the spotlight Indian narratives that offer fresh cinematic voices, innovation and original content. The 10 movies in the ‘India Gold’ section reflect India’s diversity. This apart, the ‘India Story’ section features 13 movies and ‘Spotlight’ has seven films.
Talking about the selection in the ‘India Gold’ category, which receives nearly 200 entries every year, Smriti Kiran, Artistic Director, MAMI, says: “The aim is to discover the tremendous filmmaking talent across India and get the sun to shine on them.” She lauds the fact that “Indian filmmakers have been consistently getting more fearless”. She also points out that they have been coming up with “deeply personal stories told by honest, immersive and bold storytellers”.
The ‘Spotlight’ section will show Tanuja Chandra’s Aunty Sudha Aunty Radha, Arati Kadav’s Cargo, Seema Bhargava Pahwa’s Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi, RV Ramani’s Oh That’s Bhanu, Deepti Gupta’s Shut Up Sona and Goutam Ghose’s The Wayfarers (Raahgir), among others. The ‘India Story’ section offers a rich experience of Indian narratives with Sapna Moti Bhavnani’s Sindhustan, Siddharth Tripathy’s A Dog and His Man, Nicholas Kharkongor’s Axone and Pradip Kurbah’s Market (Iewduh), among others.