Well-Known Italian actor Monica Bellucci will attend the next edition of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, scheduled to be held from October 12 to 18. She will be the first recipient of a special award instituted by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) to honour prominent women artistes in international cinema. Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap will be in conversation with Bellucci at a masterclass during the festival.
The successful model-turned-actor, who will be visiting India for the first time, said, “I am very touched and honoured to receive the award. Thank you MAMI for the invitation. It’s very exciting to come to India for the first time as well as present some of my films there.” Last year, Cary Fukunaga, director of the series True Detective, held a masterclass at the festival.
According to Smriti Kiran, the festival’s creative director, Bellucci has been curious about Indian cinema and India for a long time. “The festival’s director, Anupama Chopra, and I interviewed her during the Marrakech Film Festival some years ago, and she sounded very enthusiastic about visiting India. As you know, she is a mother of two kids and a professional. This year, she has been able to work out her schedule to attend the film festival in Mumbai,” says Kiran, adding that this award will be a permanent fixture at the festival.
To make Bellucci’s India stay memorable, actor Shah Rukh Khan will most likely be throwing a party for her. The French Ambassador to India will also be hosting a party in Bellucci’s honour. Incidentally, Bellucci was all praise for Khan after she met him in Morocco in 2015.
Having begun her acting career in the early 1990s, Bellucci has worked in movies such as The Apartment (1996), Brotherhood of the Wolf (2002), The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003). At 51, she became the “oldest Bond girl ever” with her role as Lucia Sciarra in Spectre (2015). Some years ago, she was offered the role of Sonia Gandhi in a biopic that was to be directed by Jagmohan Mundra. The project was shelved after objection from the Congress party.
“Bellucci has a world view you can connect with and respect. She also has such graceful take on aging,” says Kiran. She adds that the festival aims at celebrating inspiring women artistes who have evolved constantly. “Who can be a better example of this than Bellucci. Look at her body of work, from working in classics such as Malena and Irreversible, to acting in a James Bond film,” says Kiran.