• Sunday, December 03, 2023


Jio MAMI Festival: ‘Against the Tide’ ‘Agra’ win top honours

By: Mohnish Singh

Against the Tide by Sarvnik Kaur, Bahadur – The Brave by Diwa Shah and filmmaker Kanu Behl’s Agra received top honours at the closing ceremony of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival in Mumbai.

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 Friday night 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

The festival’s closing ceremony was attended by Janhvi Kapoor, Vishal Bhardwaj, Manushi Chillar, Kiran Rao, and Mira Nair among others.

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.

The festival will continue to screen some of the most popular titles on November 4 and 5.

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