Jio MAMI’s 17th Mumbai Film Festival has announced the “Young Critics Lab”, an initiative to introduce best practices in critiquing and appreciating a film for aspiring film writers and critics – the future film journalists of the country.

The Jio MAMI Young Critics Lab will feature two-day workshops conducted in Mumbai and will be scheduled over a period of three months running up to Jio MAMI’s 17th Mumbai Film Festival which runs from October 29th to November 5th 2015. Globally renowned British writer and film critic for The Guardian newspaper, Peter Bradshaw, will conduct the final workshop two days before the film festival starts.

These Young Critics Lab workshops will initially be conducted for a group of journalism students from Mumbai, who will be mentored by leading Indian film critic and writer, Meenakshi Shedde. She will shortlist and select 20 students for the final workshop with Peter Bradshaw. The nominated students will then write for the length of the festival and the best writers will be selected as the Critics Award Winners at the Festival. A selection committee of respected film journalists and critics will also be weighing in on the shortlist along with Meenakshi.

Looking forward to his interaction with the final aspirants at the Young Critics Lab, Peter Bradshaw said, “I am thrilled, delighted and honoured to be participating in the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2015. Mumbai is a world-renowned centre of cinema with a glorious film heritage and I am hugely excited to be at this year’s festival. I am especially pleased to be a mentor at the Young Critics Lab at the Festival. It is going to be a unique experience!”

Speaking about her role in the Young Critics Lab, Meenakshi Shedde said, “I am delighted to be the India Mentor at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival’s Mumbai Young Critics’ Lab. Having been an International Mentor at the Berlinale Talent Campus and Melbourne International Film Festival film critics’ labs, I know what a fantastic opportunity it can be.” She added, “A lot of people I meet, ask, ‘Wow, you’ve made a career out of watching movies?’ Well, let’s say it takes a bit more than that! A lot of young people today are real movie geeks, and some hope to make a career of it. My lab will be holistic, and include how to “read a film”, why Indian cinema is truly great, Bollywood and regional Indian cinema, what it takes to be a good critic, and new opportunities for a critic. I’m really looking forward to the lab, because I get a lot of energy and inspiration from youngsters, and am keen to learn from them too.”

Anupama Chopra, Festival Director, Jio MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival, said, “I am so pleased that we at Jio MAMI are hosting this lab for aspiring film writers and critics. As a keen film buff and critic myself, I know how hard it is to appreciate and critique a work of art. A critic must not only know the craft of film but also be able to write in a way that is relevant to the readers giving them a sense of what to expect, looking at the obvious and going beyond the obvious. There are best practices and we are giving our future film journalists access to the best from India and the world. I think they will thoroughly enjoy the sessions with Meenakshi and Peter.”

Jio MAMI’s Mumbai Film Festival will be held in Mumbai from October 29 – November 5, 2015. The festival has received an overwhelming show of support from members of the Indian Film fraternity who have committed their time and resources to make the Festival a showcase of the best creative talent from India and around the world. 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.