Archive - 2015
Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL) came on board as the 17th Mumbai Film Festival's presenting sponsor and STAR India as the Associate Sponsor Partner. Nita M. Ambani, Founder & Chairperson, Reliance Foundation was announced as Co-Chair, Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI). The announcement was made in the presence of members of the Board of Trustees that include Kiran Rao, Chairperson – MAMI, Anupama Chopra - Festival Director, Filmmakers Dibakar Banerjee and Vishal Bhardwaj, Mr. Ajay Bijli, Chairman and MD, PVR Ltd, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Managing Director, Disney India, Mr. Manish Mundra, Founder and CEO, Drishyam Films and Gayatri Yadav, Executive Vice President Marketing & Communications, STAR India.
These eminent personalities, outstanding achievers in their respective fields brought together their expertise and experience to give Mumbai and India a bigger, better and even more exciting 17th edition of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
The Festival had a record turnout this year. The eight-day event from 29 October to 5 November 2015, screened over 200 films from 58 countries across the world and witnessed a staggering turnout of over 7000 delegates.
It opened on 29 October with a gala celebration at the iconic Mumbai landmark, the Gateway of India. The film screenings took place at PVR Juhu, PVR Citi Mall (now ECX) Andheri, PVR High Street Phoenix at Lower Parel, PVR Ghatkopar and Regal Colaba. Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh featuring Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao was the opening film.
The line-up included new programming sections being introduced this year, special screenings and events.
THE INDIA STORY
India is a cauldron of diversity. Indian feature films reflect that and every region within India has a specific film culture. This section brings forth the cinematic vibrancy of the country. Traversing through various languages and forms in India, the films in this section will highlight talent from different regions. The films programmed will be a journey into the heart of India.
The Half Ticket section was introduced at the festival for the first time as a treat for the children of Mumbai. The most outstanding and imaginative live action, animation and documentary features and shorts from across the world competed for children's Jury awards.
Children also learned filmmaking from renowned directors and writers at a special interactive session at the Festival. The aim of this section is to showcase and award ground-breaking work produced for young audiences aged 6 to 16, in the hope that exposure to high quality and diverse films from across the globe will help develop a finer sensibility for all kinds of cinema and create future audiences.
A Fantastic film section was launched for the first time in the history of film festivals in India. The Fantastic film genre is an evolving piece across the world and enjoys a cult following in keeping with the tonality and texture of these films. The films that push the envelope and oscillate between the unbelievable and the absurd, fantastic cinema is about all things extreme that stretch the imagination. Seven films in this section were curated and programmed that will be an introduction to the Indian audience to this kind of cinema.
YOUNG CRITICS LAB
A lab for aspiring film writers and critics, Jio MAMI Mumbai film festival’s Young Critics lab was an attempt to hone and mentor future film journalists of the country. Two day workshops over three months running up to the Festival were conducted that covered colleges all across Mumbai. These workshops with chosen journalism students from Mumbai were mentored by Meenakshi Shedde this year.
Meenakshi selected 20 students for the final workshop which was conducted by renowned film critic and writer Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian. The students would then write for the length of the Festival and the best would win the Critics Award at the Festival. These workshops aimed to create a breed of writers and critics that are shaped by the rich experiences and knowledge of the most credible and successful personalities in the field. The idea was also to create a pool that serves as a hiring ground for publications around the country.
MUMBAI FILM MART
On 30th October, the festival hosted a ‘Mumbai Film Mart’, a unique space created to bridge the gap between content creators and content platforms. Good content is crippled and stays unknown without dissemination and distribution. The gap between filmmaking and distribution is one that is screaming to be bridged. But as content has diversified so have the platforms.
In this one day market, the festival programmers curated 25 complete Indian projects and trained the makers of the content to design five minute pitches which could help sell their films better. And it brought content platforms from studios, distributors, VOD hubs, airlines, digital destinations, television channels, production houses and regional channels under one roof to hear these pitches and bid for the films.
This year, Jio MAMI introduced The Jio MAMI Movie Mela – a one-day celebration of cinema. On 31st October at Mehboob Studio, delegates entered a different world which consisted of movie characters, movie merchandising, movie books, DVDs and conversations on movies. Leading directors and actors talked about their work and life, Rishi Kapoor did a masterclass, and Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi talked about creating blockbusters. There was also a reunion of the Mr. India cast.
YOUNG ADULT WORKSHOP
On 2-3 November, a ‘Young Adult Workshop’ took place under the able guidance of leading filmmakers like Imtiaz Ali, Zoya Akhtar and Avinash Arun. The workshop was aimed at imparting knowledge on the nuances of direction, editing and production of films.
- The restored version of the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray was screened as part of the “Restored Classics” section of the Festival.
- In the special Tribute (Indian) category, the films of renowned producer/director Chetan Anand were screened. These included the war drama Haqeeqat and the classic love story Heer-Ranjha.
The Festival drew to a close on 5 November at Taj Land’s End with world-renowned filmmakers, film stars and other luminaries from the art and entertainment space walking the red carpet. This veritable roster included names such as Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Esha Gupta, Kunal Kapoor, Deepak Parekh, Ritesh Deshmukh, Poonam Mahajan, Vidya Balan, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Dibakar Banerjee, Jackie Shroff, Radhika Apte, Anushka Manchanda, Sandhya Mridul, Pavleen Gujral, Pan Nalin, Tisca Chopra, Nandita Das amongst others.
Kalki Koechlin hosted the event and took centre stage inviting prestigious delegates to give away the awards. The special guest of the evening was Honourable Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who along with Producer and Director, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, was accompanied by a group of young adults from Jammu & Kashmir who were especially flown in to Mumbai to experience the festival. Isha Ambani, who was the key person behind the association of brand Jio with MAMI, made her presence felt at the closing ceremony.
- Head of International Jury - Ava DuVernay, Academy Award-nominated director for Selma.
- Cameron Bailey – Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival.
- Vidya Balan – Award-winning actor known for his performances in Parineeta, Lago Raho Munnabhai, Paa, Ishqiya, No One Killed Jessica, Kahaani, The Dirty Picture among other films
- Christina Voros – Brooklyn-based director and cinematographer recognised by IFP’s Filmmaker Magazine as one of the “25 New Faces in Independent Film”
- Saleh Bakri – Palestinian theatre and film actor. In 2007, he appeared in his first two films: The Band’s Visit and Salt of the Sea by Annemarie Jacir, which premiered at Cannes in 2008. Salt of the Sea was Saleh Bakri’s debut performance in an Arab film and the film was chosen as Palestine’s official submission for the Academy Awards. The Band’s Visit also won numerous prizes and awards.
- Head of Jury - Kati Outinen – Award-winning actress, writer and Professor at Theatre Academy of Finland
- Antony Chen - One of Variety Magazine’s “10 Directors to Watch”, Chen’s debut feature Ilo Ilo was unanimously awarded the Camera d’Or making history as the first Singapore feature to be awarded at Cannes.
- Clare Stewart – Her 16-year programming career has encompassed leadership roles as Festival Director, Sydney Film Festival (2006–2011) and the inaugural Head of Film Programs at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne (2002–2006), as well as various roles at the Australian Film Institute (1996–2001), including Exhibition Manager, and programmer and Committee Member of the Melbourne Cinémathèque (1995–2002).
- Sabiha Sumar - Her first documentary, Who Will Cast the First Stone (1988), focused on the working class women’s protest against Islamic laws introduced in Pakistan in 1979, followed by Suicide Warriors (1996) a documentary about Tamil women guerrilla fighters. Her first feature, Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters) (2003), was presented and awarded at numerous film festivals around the world.
- Atul Dodiya – One of India’s most celebrated artists, he insightfully references and makes accessible international art historical and political imagery in his complex painting and installation practice.
- Head of Jury - Dibakar Banerjee - an Indian film director, screenwriter, producer and ad-filmmaker known for his work on Hindi films such as Khosla Ka Ghosla and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! both of which won National Film Awards.
- Juhi Chaturvedi – Writer of critically and commercially successful films Vicky Donor and Piku
- Parineeti Chopra – Actor, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, Ishaqzaade, Shuddh Desi Romance, Hasee Toh Phasee
- Suraj Sharma – Actor, Life of Pi, Million Dollar Baby
- Neeraj Ghaywan – He assisted director Anurag Kashyap on Gangs of Wasseypur. In 2014, Fly Away Solo, a screenplay he co-wrote, was awarded the Sundance Institute / Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award. His directorial debut, Masaan was based on this original screenplay, and went on to win the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) and Promising Future awards in the Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival 2015.
- Radhika Apte – Actor, Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi!, Antaheen, Samaantar, Badlapur, Hunterrr
- Golden Gateway Award for Children's Feature - Ottal
- The Silver Gateway Award for Children's Feature - Operation Arctic
- Special mention for Acting - Hetal Gada and Krrish Chhabria
- Special Mention for Direction - Morgan Matthews for X + Y
- The Golden Gateway for Children’ Short - Dina Velikovskaya for Pro Mamu (About a Mother)
- Silver Gateway for Children’ Short - Olga Poluektova and Tatiana Poluektova for My Grandfather Was a Cherry Tree
- The Silver Gateway Dimensions Mumbai Award - The Voice by Disha Noyonika Rindani
- The Golden Gateway Dimensions Mumbai Award - Kunal by Dhruv Saigal
- Special Mentions for Dimensions Mumbai - I Shall Bow by Vedanti Chandrakant Dani
- Special Jury Mention for Achievement in Directing - Cesar Augusto Acevedo for Land and Shade
- Special Jury Mention for Achievement in Acting: Maria Telon of Volcano
- Special Jury Mention for Achievement in Acting: Farzana Nawabi of Mina Walking
- Special Jury Mention for Ensemble: Jackson Martin, Reese Moffat, Nick Serino for Sleeping Giant
- Special Jury Mention for Achievement in Screenwriting: Chloe Zhao for Songs My Brothers Taught Me
- Jury Special Prize for India Gold - Mor Mann Ke Bharam (An Illusion of My Mind) by Karma Takapa, Heer Ganjawala and Abhishek Varma
- The Silver Gateway Award for India Gold - Haramkhor by Shlok Sharma
- The Golden Gateway Award for India Gold - Chauthi Koot by Gurvinder Singh
The Festival also presented two Excellence in Cinema awards – one to iconic Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai and other to legendary screenwriters Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar.
- Jury Special Mention for Direction - Mari Sanders for Daan Durft (Go Daan Go!)
- Book Award for Excellence in Writing in Cinema - Gaata Rahe Mera Dil by Balaji Vittal and Anirudha Bhattacharjee
- Film for Social Impact Award by Yes Foundation - Jayaraj for Ottal
- Young Critics Choice Award - Kaul
- Audience Choice Award - Taxi