I’m not a film festival geek (never did research to see MAMI like i did today) but more of a Bollywood whore, me and a bunch of friends watch almost every hindi movie first day first show. So this is new for me. I’m writing this post because i’d made a promise to be someone’s MAMI Guide. Since i had to do this research for that person, i thought why not help other people also in the bargain.

Here goes.

I started watching movies at MAMI in the year 2009. Back then, I  used to work as an assistant for a writer who wanted me to develop TV content after watching movies at MAMI. Yes i know it sounds absurd but heck, thanks to him, i discovered this ‘teerath sthal‘. 7 days of no work and just pure unadulterated movie watching. I have been a regular ever since 2009 and skipped 2013 as my film was being shot back then.

Now i must warn you that I prefer watching films whose strength is their narrative. So you’ll not find any recommendations like the epic ‘TURIN HORSE’ or ‘CHAUTHI KOOT’ in here.

Day 1:

10am- Certain Women – I found it the best out of the lot in the 10am films. And it has the lovely Kirsten Stewart. So.

12pm- Neruda– Had LOVED the trailer when it came out and i just read a line by VARIETY claiming it to be ‘stunningly inventive take on the function of a writer’. Have been hearing great things about this from one and all. Not to be missed.

5pm- You are My Sunday– About a group of has been teenagers who want to play football on sundays. Had loved the trailer. Highly relatable if you love sports and mumbai.

3.45- Lovers and the Despot – A crazy documentary about a Korean leader kidnapping a film making couple. Must Must watch from the trailers.

8.45- Lo and Behold, Reveries of the connected world – LOOKS FANTASTIC. The story of the GOD of this age, INTERNET.

7.30- A Death in the Gunj– Stellar cast. Directorial Debut of one of my most favourite actress, Konkona Sen Sharma. Lovely trailer and is getting rave reviews from everyone who has seen it. Opening film.

If you manage to watch any four out of these then you’d have finished a great movie watching day.

Day 2: 

10am- After The Storm – Japanese dysfunctional family drama about a father, son and a stormy night. Saw the trailer and it gave me the right vibe to start the day with.

2.45pm- The Commune– Looks really delicious by the trailer. About a couple who decide to live in a commune. Highly relatable if you have lived in a joint family, like i have.

4pm- The Salesman– Mr.Farhadi is back! And this time with a different couple and new issues but it looks as intriguing as ‘A separation’. A no brainer. Must be seen.

8.00pm- Barakah meets Barakah– A romantic comedy about a civil servant and an outspoken modern girl. Seems very Bollywoodish but in a good way.

8.30pm- Personal Shopper– This has been getting extreme reviews everywhere. Some say its bad while most say its outstanding.

I’m definitely torn between which of the two to see. I’ll let my mood and bookings decide.

Day 3:

10am- Elle– A woman turns the tables on her unknown assailant. Trailer hooked me. Has a 5 out 5 from The Guardian. More importantly, looks the best bet for 10am.

1pm- Swiss Army Man– Crazy trailer. Have heard all kinds of things about it. Want to see it myself.

5pm- Good Bye Berlin– Upbeat film. Road trip and two kids. I so wanna see this one.

8pm-An insignificant Man – The much talked about documentary made by Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla. Produced by Anand Gandhi.

Day 4:

1pm-Pinky Beauty Parlour– This sure looks like an interesting indie. Trailer was a little all over but i could smell a nice film. Would want to see.

6.10pm- The Red Turtle– An animated survivor film that won big in Cannes. Looks different from the film I’d ideally want to see but the trailer made me curious enough. Will however go by word of mouth on this.

8pm- Ventilator– I loved the trailer. The film has been made by PeeCee’s production house and has been directed by Rajesh Mapuskar. Had found Ferrari ki Sawari underwhelming but this sure looks like a career defining film for Mr.Mapuskar.

Day 4 also has repeat screenings of ‘Personal Shopper’ and ‘Barakh Meets Barakh’

Not sure about any others, would want to go by word of mouth on this day.

Day 5:

Do Bigha Zameen –  Bimal Roy’s classic.

I, Daniel Blake– I’m just going by MoiFightclub’s reccomendation post on this. I’m not too kicked about the trailer.

Apprentice – A young man joins the prison as the apprentice of a hangman who hanged his very own father long time ago. Intriguing premise. A singaporean film. Got good reviews in Cannes.

Don’t have any more picks for day 5. Word of Mouth + It has a lot of repeat screenings, so lets see.

Day 6:

12pm- Zoya Akhtar in Conversation with Cary Fukanaga 

3.30 pm- Lipstic Under My Burkha – Stellar cast. Trailer looks delicious. Hopefully will live up.

8.30pm- Trapped– Celebrated filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane’s Trapped. Written by Amit Joshi & Hardik Mehta and featuring the acting powerhouse Rajkumar Rao. A must watch.

Day 7:

11.30am- 417 miles– An interesting indian film.

12pm- Karan Johar in Conversation (Fashion In Film)- Because is hilarious in these panels.

3pm- Machester By The Sea– Casey Affleck. Homecoming. Has got great reviews.

5pm- Neon Demon– Had seen the trailer. Looks like a film that will be worth being the last film of the fest, if ‘Manchester by the Sea’ can’t be seen that is.

So Yeah. Here it is then. Hope this helps you in picking the movies to watch. And before i forget, a big shout out to Kiran Rao and the awesome team at Film Companion headed by Anuapama Chopra for bringing the BEST of the world at our door step.

Also do try and go for,

MAMI Movie Mela

Break the Fourth Wall with Virtual Reality

Retrospective of the classic Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar with Mansoor Khan & Team

On The Sets with the Directors: Zoya Akhtar, Rohit Shetty, Vishal Bhardwaj, Shoojit Sircar & Gauri Shinde

22nd & 23rd  October at Rangmandir, Bandra.

First look of ‘Bahubali 2’.


These picks are mostly of movies playing in Andheri. I’m not planning to go to town for more than two occasions. Once for the highly anticipated ‘A Death in the Gunj’ and second time for ‘Amdavad ma famous‘, a documentary by Hardik Mehta and Team. All the best to everyone reading this, if you like this post then you’ll spot me at the festival, tell me in person.

Navjot Gulati is the writer of Runningshaadi. com & Abhishek Dogra’s next. Future director. Has written and directed the most viewed short film in Andheri with over 9 million views. And most importantly a facebook philosopher and twitter ranter.

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Also published on Medium.