10 Debut Feature Filmmakers at MAMI 2017
Across the world, everyday filmmakers are being born and the cinema world has never been more exciting. At the 19th JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star, some thrilling next generation filmmakers, showcased their first features. Below is a list of filmmakers whose films enriched the festival this year.
A graduate of the Prague Film School and University of Southern California Film School, Dipesh is a recipient of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Student Award. He was also selected for the 64th Berlin International Film Festival’s Talents Lab. His debut film In The Shadows, a psychological drama set in Old Delhi, deals with the themes of isolation and voyeurism, starring Manoj Bajpayee. The screenplay was a finalist, in the Sundance Screenwriting Lab 2015.
An engineering school dropout, Rahul Jain is Indian born, based in U.S.. After going through tons of films and cinema books, he applied to California Institute of the Arts. It is there, that the genesis of the idea for Machines, his debut came. Currently, Machines, his debut documentary has played at over 10 international film festivals, and won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award at Sundance this year.
A former assistant to Anand L. Rai, one of India’s most exciting director and producer; Rahul Shanklya’s debut film Nimmo, set in Madhya Pradesh, is about an 8 year old falling in love with a much older woman. The film stars Anjali Patil and Karan Dave and is produced by Anand L. Rai himself.
A South African film and theatre director, John Trengove has previously directed The Goat, a short film that premiered in Berlinale Film Festival in 2014. His debut feature The Wound, is a controversial film tracking a close bond between two men in the Xhosa tribe. It opened to rave reviews at Sundance and has won the Best Feature film at various festivals including Taipei and Valencia Film Festival.
Nyoni’s first foray into filmmaking- The List, ended up winning the Welsh BAFTA Award for the Best Short Film. Her arresting and visually striking debut feature I Am Not A Witch, is about a young orphan girl who is exiled to a government run witch camp. The film opened at the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes this year.
A literature graduate from the University Sorbonne Nouvelle, Leonor has previously made two short films. Montparnasse Bienvenue, her debut feature observes an independent young woman living in Paris who embarks on one encounter after another, and eventually beginning a new chapter in her life. The film won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year.
A self taught director and writer from Manchester, Daniel was twice selected for the IFeatures development programme. His debut film, Apostasy is about a devout Jehovah’s Witness who commits a transgression, forcing her mother and sister to persuade her to return to the faith or shun her completely.
Already a hit on the festival circuit, Ana Urushadze’s debut, Scary Mother is a psychological thriller of a married woman’s literary bid for freedom. The explosive film won the top prize at the Sarajevo Film Festival, along with the Swatch First Feature Award at the Locarno Film Festival (previously won by Raam Reddy for Thithi)
A former assistant director on films like Neerja, Joker and Khelenge Hum Jee Jaan Se, Sandeep has also previously made short films like Vanvaas and Best Friends Forever. His debut feature, title Chumbak features acclaimed lyricist Swanand Kirkire.
A popular actor, writer and now a director, Prasad Oak’s debut feature Kaccha Limbu deals with the complex issues of growing sexual desires of a mentally disabled child and its effects on his parents. Shot almost completely in black and white with bursts of colors, the film has a stellar cast of Sonali Kulkarni, Sachin Khedekar, Ravi Jhadav and newcomer Manmeet Pen.