Bringing Forth Mumbai’s Young Dimensions
For years the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival is known for turning the dreams of numerous young and budding filmmakers into reality. The Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star continues to do so with its diverse categories. ‘Dimensions Mumbai’ is one such category where participants in the age group of 18 – 25 years can narrate interesting stories through the short-film format. The films within this competition category will be screened during the festival and the winning film or films will take home the Silver Gateway Trophy along with a cash prize of Rs. 1, 00,000.
Judging the competition are renowned names from the industry including ace director Zoya Akhtar, who is the Head of the Jury, National award-winner Nagraj Manjule, Shakun Batra of Kapoor & Sons fame, Kanu Behl, the writer and director of Titli and critically acclaimed actress Richa Chadha.
As the young filmmakers get ready to watch their films on the big screen, we spoke to the judges about what they expect from the category. Zoya Akhtar looks forward to 11 new filmmakers emerging through this category. “Dimensions Mumbai gives the filmmakers a boost and a platform to not just show your talent, but win a cash prize. Supporting the short film culture is great because when we were growing up, this wasn’t there. Today, with technology, Internet and just a cell phone, people are making films and putting them out on various platforms.”
Talking about the specific age-group selected for this category Shakun Batra said, “I think the age group is also an opportunity for young minds to interact with each other.”
“This category helps you to collaborate with people in your own age group who share the same wave length and thoughts,” added Richa Chadha. “From the perspective of an actor, I was looking for some kind of realism in the films in terms of action. Staying away from clichés is necessary.”
Nagraj Manjule fondly remembers the time when he was a participant in the festival. “I started my career from MAMI. Back then, I wasn’t sure if my movie would be appreciated, but it won! This was one of the first awards that the film received, so this festival is extremely special to me.” On his experience as a jury, he said, “From being a participant to being part of the jury with such influential personalities feels great. This festival boosted my confidence as a young hopeful. Similarly, I hope being part of ‘Dimensions Mumbai’ fuels the confidence of all the young filmmakers too.”
“Up until 5-6 years ago, short films were not encouraged on such a large platform. The idea that your film will be seen on a big screen is in itself, an exhilarating experience. Also, this evolution in the short film format will only bring about a better change,” said Kanu Behl elaborating on the exponential growth of short films as a format. In conclusion, the director added, “Irrespective of which movie wins, every film has great potential.”