Mumbai film festival announces eclectic line-up

Mumbai, Oct 7 (IANS) Over 150 films from across the world will be screened at the 17th edition of Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, which will begin here on October 29. It has a stellar line-up of feature, short and documentary films.

Nita M. Ambani, founder and chairperson, Reliance Foundation, was announced as Co-chair, Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI).

This year, the festival received an unprecedented 248 feature film submissions in 29 languages, including Pashto, Wanchu and Jaunsari. The selection of Indian films includes 14 world premieres, and 17 India premieres.

According to filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee, “Audiences at Jio MAMI will get a chance to watch 31 Indian films that have never been shown before in India”.

As many as 13 films are competing for the Best Film Award in the India gold section. There are 15 fiction features and five documentaries in the India story category.

The fest is introducing a new section called After Dark, which will bring a fantastic collection of horror and science fiction films. There will be six movies in this section, and Qaushiq Mukherjee’s “Ludo” will be the opening feature, while others include “Tag”, “Turbo Kid” and “Deathgasama.

Another section called Half Ticket is also being introduced at the fest for children. The most outstanding and imaginative live action, animation and documentary features and shorts from across the world will compete for children’s jury awards.

Children will also learn filmmaking from renowned directors and writers at a special interactive session. Some of the films in this section include “Dhanak”, “Song of the Sea”, “Lamb”, “Paper Plane” and “About a Mother” among others.

The fest will present two Excellence in Cinema awards – one to an international personality and one to an Indian. While the international award will be presented to iconic Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai, the Indian award will be handed over to legendary screenwriters Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar.

This year’s international tribute is to French director Agnes Varda, who was given the honorary Palme d’Or this year at the Cannes International Film Festival. The Indian tribute will be to Indian filmmaker Chetan Anand, whose 100th birth anniversary falls this year.

The festival’s new trophy, designed by jewellery designer Nirav Modi, was also unveiled on Wednesday.

At Young Critics Lab, 20 handpicked students will be mentored by renowned film critic Peter Bradshaw.

The festival will also host Mumbai Mart, a unique initiative to bridge the gap between content creators and content platforms. In this one-day market, the festival programmers will curate 25 complete Indian projects.

On October 31, Jio MAMI will celebrate cinema at the Movie Mela in Mehboob Studio where leading actors and directors will talk about their work and life. There will be a masterclass by actor Rishi Kapoor, while Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi will talk about creating blockbusters.

Filmmakers like Imtiaz Ali, Zoya Akhtar and Avinash Arun will join hands for the Young Adult Workshop, which is aimed at imparting knowledge in the nuances of direction, editing and production of films for young children.

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta’s “Aligarh” will be the opening film of the festival, which will have Ava DuVernay, Academy Award nominated director for “Selma”, as the head of the international jury.

Popular films from across the globe such as “Taxi”, “The Visit”, “The Assassin”, “The Lobster”, “Mistress America”, “My Mother” and “Youth” will be screened.

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