If it's to do with cinema, it has to be grand, especially if it's in India. When the film community came together to announce the line-up of the 18th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star, that kicks off on October 20, it was huge. The festival will have over 180 films from 54 countries, including features, documentaries, short films.
Festival Co-Chairperson Kiran Rao spoke about the wonderful year that it has been with the launch of the MAMI Film Club in May which featured a conversation between Sir Ian McKellen and Aamir Khan. “We’ve followed that up with India premieres of films such as Brahman Naman and India in a Day. The academy is committed to bringing you great film content and conversations not just in October but throughout the year. We’ve also got a new identity. Mumbai is a mosaic of islands and communities of over 16 million people, their hopes and dreams. We wanted to find an identity that reflects this great city and the festival. If you look closely at our new logo, you will see two fish creating a geometric pattern that forms the Devnagri representation of MAMI. This identity also works well for us because we are always fishing for talent”.
The festival, as it does every year, identifies the contribution of great minds in the world of cinema. The ‘Excellence in Cinema Award’ provides an opportunity to highlight, applaud and promote works of such individuals. This year, the Indian Excellence in Cinema Award will be conferred to noted director and screenwriter of several award winning movies like Sparsh and Chashme Baddoor, Sai Paranjpye. The Government of India awarded Paranjpye with the Padma Bhushan in 2006 in recognition of her artistic talents. Jia Zhangke, known as the leading figure of the “Sixth Generation” movement in Chinese Cinema and one of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers working today will be the recipient of the International Excellence in Cinema Award.
“Jia Zhangke belongs to the sixth generation of Chinese filmmakers. His work has offered a unique perspective on a transitional generation. He combines this with a humane concern for the working class and poor,” said Dibakar Banerjee. Zhangke has directed 13 films in 21 years.
While talking about Paranjpye, filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj said she told stories of common people. “Sai Paranjpye’s career has spanned over four decades. Her cinema is defined by certain humanity. Her films didn’t have oversized heroes and villains and her work continues to inspire generations of filmmakers”.