MUMBAI IS CINEMA : Jio MAMI Festival’s Tribute to Mumbai
Registrations for the 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival opened this week to a staggering show of support from the members of the Indian Film Fraternity who continue to commit their time and resources to make the Festival a showcase of the best creative talent from India and around the world. In a strong show of support, Bollywood’s leading stars took to their Twitter handles, Instagram accounts and Facebook pages inviting registrations this week.
The festival is set to open its doors in less than 60 days. Bollywood’s leading actors have partnered in the Festival’s campaign Film directed by Vikramaditya Motwane. From the legendary Amitabh Bachchan and Shyam Benegal to Aamir Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Nimrat Kaur, Kangana Ranaut and the Jio MAMI Film Festival Chairman Kiran Rao — all have narrated their personal stories of their special relationship and connection with the city of dreams – Mumbai and their collective passion Cinema.
Filled with personal insights about what the city has meant to them and their careers, this 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival Campaign film, will be released across platforms and played in PVR Cinemas across the country.
Talking about the film, Vikramaditya Motwane said, “I’ve been watching films at the Mumbai Film Festival from the very first edition. It’s been one of my cinema teachers. I’m delighted to be assisting Jio MAMI in its new avatar by making this tribute to both Mumbai and the film fraternity.”
Legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan who came to Mumbai as a ‘tourist ‘narrates the reason why people come to the city, “Mumbai has always been a city of dreams, a land of opportunity. Many of us have visited it as a tourist, but I think a lot of people that come here have some intention in mind of either coming in touch with the movies or the people. This is why Mumbai is known as the movie capital.”
He added, “Jio MAMI is a great effort; it’s wonderful to have a festival from the city that is actually identified with cinema. I’m very proud of the fact that the city itself is being responsive to international viewage, international content that keeps coming here as a result of Jio MAMI.”
Speaking about the Campaign Film, Kiran Rao, Chairperson, Jio MAMI said, “Mumbai is the city of movies, and I came here because I wanted to make movies. Mumbai has an energy that infuses you with new ideas, different way of looking at things, cheek by jowl things that you cannot avoid. The first time I came here, I wasn’t sure of the kind of films that I wanted to make and I was fairly dismissive of the commercial film industry. As the years have gone by, I have assimilated a lot of what Mumbai really is as a city, which is an inclusive city. It’s a city that takes the good things from people and that sort of comes out through people as well. It’s changed the way I look at stories, the way I look at life.”
Kangana Ranaut talked about how Mumbai changed her life; “I remember coming to Mumbai 10 years ago and I had 1500 rupees in my pocket. And the city has adopted me. It has given me employment and an identity as a woman. Something to pursue in life, and that’s the most important thing, to get some purpose in life. You wake up every morning and you feel like you’ve got something to do. Mumbai is the place that now I call home and it has been very kind to me.”
Kiran added, “It’s a natural choice that a film festival should happen in Mumbai. I think it’s a perfect fit because it’s a city that lives and breathes the movies. My hopes are that different kinds of films and film makers find a breeding ground and a place that gives them some sort of support, some kind of network, some sense that their films are appreciated, a place where it makes people feel very much a part of the film community. All filmmakers find a place here. All films, whether experimental or documentary, fiction features or feature shorts are welcome here. As a film watching community I hope that Mumbai turns out because they are going to have a lot of fun days at Jio MAMI.”
Shyam Benegal, one of the founders of the Trust, provides insight on the idea of MAMI, “So the idea of MAMI is that, you should have a comprehensive International film festival, that would not only bring cinema of the world to the city of Mumbai, but also encourage young people to look at cinema just like you look at literature or you look at other forms of art, you know with the same seriousness of purpose”.
Aamir Khan emphasized that Mumbai and films are an intrinsic part of his life ; “I’ve lived all my life in Mumbai and I can’t imagine my life anywhere else. I have a very strong bond with the city. The film industry and the city, both are here, so it’s given me a lot, it’s given me what I love doing. I feel privileged and grateful to have the opportunity to work here.” He also delved into the magical world of cinema and how it captures his imagination; “There’s something that happens in that dark theatre where you kind of get lost in that world. If the film is good, you get completely lost in that world. It’s a space where your senses get titillated and your imagination is provoked.”
Farhan Akhtar (Board Member, MAMI) star of Dil Dhadakne Do comments on how Film Festivals impact the cinematic ecosystem, “To start with the exposure you get, to the kind of cinema that you won’t normally get…you know, in your weekly release”.
Actor Nimrat Kaur elaborates on the importance of a film festival in the city, “I think they provide a breeding ground firstly for films that otherwise won’t have a platform, that to me is the FIRST, foremost and the biggest idea behind ANY film festival. You get to see films from different parts of the world, made on shoestring budget, with actors you wouldn’t otherwise see in mainstream cinema”
The 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival will be held in Mumbai from October 29th to November 5th 2015. The film screenings will take place at PVR Versova, PVR Citi Mall, Andheri, PVR LP, Phoenix Mills and Regal – Colaba. To register for the festival, viewers can register online at http://in.bookmyshow.com/mami/ or at registration counters at the festival venues listed above.
Along with Chairperson, Kiran Rao and Festival Director, Anupama Chopra, the members of the new Board of Trustees of MAMI are Filmmakers Farhan Akhtar, Karan Johar, Vikramaditya Motwane, Actor Riteish Deshmukh, Actress Deepika Padukone, Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman & MD, Mahindra Group, Mr. Ajay Bijli, Chairman and MD, PVR Ltd, Mr. Siddharth Roy Kapur, MD, Disney and Mr. Manish Mundra, Founder and CEO, Drishyam Films. These eminent personalities, outstanding achievers in their respective fields, are bringing 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.