MAMI 2023: Celebrating cinema that celebrates diversity

Published : Nov 06, 2023 22:06 IST - 3 MINS READ

Actor Shabana Azmi poses for a photograph prior to attending the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.

Actor Shabana Azmi poses for a photograph prior to attending the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. | Photo Credit: By Special Arrangement

From globally acclaimed films to debutant talents, this year’s MAMI Film Festival in Mumbai focussed on diverse stories.

“Against the Tide” by Sarvnik Kaur, “Bahadur - The Brave” by Diwa Shah and filmmaker Kanu Behl’s “Agra” received top honours at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival which concluded on Saturday. The 10-day film gala, which returned with its first on-ground edition after a gap of three years, commenced with a star-studded opening ceremony on October 27 at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC). The South Asia Competition awards were presented on November 3 by the jury, headed by director Mira Nair. Other members were Australian writer and filmmaker David Michod, Filipino filmmaker and actor Isabel Sandoval, and Edouard Waintrop, French film critic and festival director.

VIDEO | Top Five from MAMI 
Film critic Ishita Sengupta has curated a list of her top five must-see films from the recently concluded MAMI Film Festival 2023. | Video Credit: Scripted and presented by Ishita Sengupta, Video by Anuj Kont, Edited by Sambavi Parthasarathy

The jury awarded the Golden Gateway award to “Against the Tide”, the Silver Gateway award to “Bahadur - The Brave” and the Special Jury Award to “Agra”, helmed by Kanu Behl. The film critics guild gender sensitivity award, celebrating a feature that challenges gender stereotypes and norms, was given to “Barir Naam Shahana” (‘A House Named Shahana’) by Leesa Gazi. The jury, featuring film critic Aditya Shrikrishna and RJ Stutee Ghosh, presented the award.

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Shahrukhkhan Chavada’s “Kayo Kayo Colour?” (Which Colour) won an award under the Rashid Irani young critics lab special programme created by MAMI to nurture young writers within the realm of cinema. The honour was presented by Christian Jeune, director of the film department, deputy general delegate, Festival de Cannes.

This year at the festival, the global media company Civic Studios joined hands with Jio MAMI to create a new category of award, the Light Camera Impact Award. This award recognised two non-feature films focusing on subjects of climate, sexuality, and caste. Through these awards, the intent is to put spotlight on engaging short films that spark conversation on socially relevant topics. The awards were presented by Civic Studios founder Anushka Shah and filmmaker Kiran Rao to two winners – “Blackhole” by Pradyumna Patil and “Praan Pratishthana” (Consecration) by Pankaj Sonawane, while “Flowering Man” by Soumyajit Ghosh Dastidar got a special mention in this category.

Actor Priyanka Chopra poses for a photograph prior to attending the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, in Mumbai on November 3.

Actor Priyanka Chopra poses for a photograph prior to attending the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, in Mumbai on November 3. | Photo Credit: ANI

Actor Kalki Koechlin introduced the MAMI Select—Filmed on iPhone. a new initiative where a group of emerging filmmakers are given the opportunity to reimagine traditional cinematic conventions by creating high-quality short films, shot on the iPhone 15 Pro Max and edited on the MacBook Pro.

MAMI and Apple have handpicked five filmmakers—Archana Atul Phadke, Faraz Ali, Prateek Vats, Saurav Rai, and Saumyananda Sahi—representing the newest wave of Indian cinema. They will be mentored and guided by filmmakers Vishal Bhardwaj, Vikramaditya Motwane and Rohan Sippy. One of the most sought-after awards of the night was the IMDb audience choice award for the most popular film at the festival, as chosen by the festival attendees. IMDb India head Yaminie Patodia and festival director MAMI, Anupama Chopra presented the award to “The Monk and the Gun” by Pawo Choyning Dorji.

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The closing ceremony was followed by the screening of Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla”, based on Priscilla Presley’s 1985 biography, “Elvis and Me”, written with support from Sandra Harmon. It stars Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi, and Dagmara Dominczyk and is produced by Sofia Cappola, Lorenzo Mieli, and Youree Henley. This year over 300 films in 70 languages from 70 different countries were screened at the festival. Of the total films, about 70 were directed by female filmmakers, according to the organisers.

With inputs from PTI

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