Archive for November 6, 2015

And we have come to the last day of the festival. Continuing with our daily reviews and reccos, here are the notes from the last of Mumbai Film Festival, 2015.

Our Day 1 Wrap is here, Day 2 is here, for Day 3 click here, Day 4 is herehere is Day 5, and Day 6 is here. And click here to read the post on Christopher Doyle’s Masterclass.


Fassbinder – To love without demands by Christian Braad Thomsen

So implosive and concentrated, this one demands a second viewing and deserves a much longer post. The complexity and rich denseness of Fassbinder, the enfant terrible of New German cinema, is so attentively and contemplatively sketched, it is fascinating to delve into the mind and heart of the man and film-maker. It pieces together his life from childhood through rare interviews of Fassbinder and of his other associates and what emerges is an idea of a man as passionate, intense and complex as his films. I missed Junun for this but came back with no regrets at all.

Kothanadi – River of Fables by Bhaskar Hazarika

A German distributor of Bollywood films watching this Assamese gem called it the most original work he had seen in the fest and offered his contacts to the debutante director Bhaskar Hazarika. I couldn’t agree more. Brought up on Ukranian folk tales (like literally hugged the 1000 page book of fables to sleep for years), Kothanadi brought alive the magic realism and earthy ethos of folklore effortlessly. 5-6 stories intertwine with narrative threads and characters joining the dots weaving a mesh of parallel stories moving in the same direction. Rooted in its native and socio-political ethos, the film’s complete lack of need to comment or ‘share a message’ has been the most refreshing cinematic experience of recent times. This is my most favourite film at MAMI this year.

Mor Mann ke Bharam – Illusions of my mind by Abhishek Varma, Heer Ganjwala, Karma Takapa 

Whimsical, imaginative and cryptic, Mor is a delight in more ways than one. It’s a film about the illusions of the mind that creates its narrative for the experience of the illusions. Illusions have a vague form and shifting functions and through the treatment of its themes Mor does something similar. The mystification is not self-conscious and touch of humour is refreshing. Especially, the tongue-in-cheek reflection on difficulties of a film artist. Such a pleasant experience!

Tag by Sion Sono

In another dimension of reality I would have avoided a film like this like plague. But clearly, and true to the film’s premise, I wasn’t in that universe and quickly Tag replaced Microbe as winner of the indulgence of the fest award. Horror cum slasher cum acid trip hallucination turned out to be the most fun at cinema halls I have had in the long time. The premise is there is a world of women where each one is slashed to death by the wind and only one survives. Until she realises she is in a parallel reality and is someone else at some other time. The killing and running continues and in each time she has to save herself. No point writing more about this one, check it out when you can, you know where!

Body by Małgorzata Szumowska

Contemplative document on sadness, broken hearts and troubled relationships, Body, completely desentimentalises pain and anguish and simplifies it. It cannot help take a jibe at the Spiritist school of thought emphasising on emotional healing through spiritual techniques and energy principles to arrive at a very human element of laughter and letting go as the simplest road to love and connection. I was hoping I could end the fest with the much-touted Tangerine but then this wasn’t bad at all. See you next year MAMI.

Fatema Kagalwala


The Mumbai Film Festival concluded with a closing ceremony on Thursday evening where the winners were announced.

Here’s the list of winners in different categories-


Golden Gateway Award for Children’s Feature – OTTAL

The Silver Gateway Award for Children’s Feature – Operation Category

Special mention for Acting – Hetal Gada and Krrish Chhabria

Special Mention for Direction : Morgan Matthews for X + Y

The Golden Gateway for Children’ Short – Dina Velikovskaya for Pro Mamu (About a Mother)

Silver Gateway for Children’ Short: Olga Poliektova and Tatiana Poliektova for My Grandfather Was a Cherry Tree

Jury Special Mention for Direction – Mari Sanders for “Daan Durft” (Go Daan Go!)

Excellence in writing in Cinema AWARD – Gaata Rahe Mera Dil” by Balaji Vittal and Anirudha Bhattacharjee

Film for Social Impact Award by Yes Foundation – Jayaraj for OTTAL

Young Critics Choice Award – KAUL

Audience Choice Award – TAXI


The Silver Gateway Dimensions Mumbai Award – THE VOICE Disha Noyonika Rindani

The Golden Gateway Dimensions Mumbai Award – KUNAL Dhruv Saigal

Special Mentions for Dimensions Mumbai – I SHALL BOW Vedanti Chandrakant Dani


Jury Grand Prize for International Competition – THITHI by Raam Reddy

Silver Gateway Award for International Competition – Heavenly Nomadic by Mirlan Abdykalykov

Golden Gateway Award for International Competition – Volcano by Jayro Bustamante

Special Jury Mention for Achievement in Directing : Cesar Augusto Acevedo, LAND AND SHADE

Special Jury Mention for Achievement in Acting : Maria Telon of VOLCANO | “Mother Juana”

Special Jury Mention for Achievement in Acting : Farzana Nawabi of MINA WALKING | “Mina”

Special Jury Mention for Ensemble : Sleeping Giant Jackson Martin, Reese Moffat, Nick Serino

Special Jury Mention for Achievement in Screenwriting : Chloe Zhao, SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME


Jury Special Prize for India Gold : An Illusion of My Mind/ Mor Mann Ke Bharam by Karma Takapa, Heer Ganjwala and Abhishek Varma

The Silver Gateway Award for India Gold : Haraamkhor by Shlok Sharma

The Golden Gateway Award for India Gold : Chauthi Koot by Gurvinder Singh


In the last few years, Mumbai Film Festival has become the top film event for the film buffs. What IFFI promised with Goa, it was never delivered. How much can cheap liquor compensate for the bad/old films showing in fest and sarkaari babus having a Goa holiday with no clue about films/festival. As IFFI went down the radar, MFF went up. Interestingly, many film buffs from outside the city also make their annual trip to Mumbai to see many new dreams unfold on the big screen. So we asked four film buffs if it was worth all the travel, effort and money. We asked them to pen down their memories of the fest, films they are taking back with them, and will they be back for the fest next year?

Over to them.


Leaving business, kids, pets, and your plants for over a week? Well, back home watching saneema FDFS on a working day, by leaving office by half-day, and putting the mobile on silent mode, even that’s not easy. So imagine the scenario for a week!

For all this, you have to do proper planning, and give extra hours, so that when you’re away from home, business doesn’t get suffered. But still some things always go wrong, like when I called my wife after watching Aligarh on Karwa Chauth, technically it was another day. Boom! 😦

Every year I felt very jealous while reading MAMI tweets by friends, but coming to the festival was another impossible dream. As it happened this year, here’s the film that I will always cherish. Many films affected my life but none like Satyajit Ray’s Aparajito. When Sujoy Ghosh tweeted about screening of restored Apu Trilogy at MAMI, that gave me the courage and motivation, and then there was no stopping.

This is one decision which I’ll never regret and it was worth all the risk and effort I put in for coming here. MAMI festival was so well organized – online booking by BookMyShow, Day wise schedule shared by friends, they made it all very smooth. Later on, with Mumbaikars, even this UP-wala started enjoying standing up for National Anthem. Watching films with celebrities and standing in queues with them is the most valuable memory which I’ll take back home.
Nothing is going to stop me from coming here next time जियो मामी.

This festival was for movies, and films which I loved and hated. This greedy bhaiyya watched 23 films and even managed to watch one outside the festival. You can see my reactions on those films which I tweet immediately after screening @rmanish1 ;-).

To quote Rana saab,

मिट्टी में मिला दे की जुदा हो नहीं सकता,
अब इससे ज़्यादा मैं तेरा हो नहीं सकता ! #MAMI

Manish Rathore, from Lucknow

मैं इस शहर का नहीं हूँ । यह शहर मेरा नहीं है, हालाँकि हमने कोशिश की दोस्ती करने की पर कुछ बात बनी नहीं। इस साल मैं यहां 7 दिन रहा, अकेले। कुछ ज़िन्दगी से ऊब गया था इसलिए, कुछ सिनेमा का प्यार खींच लाया । आज जब बम्बई की 12:40 की लोकल में बैठ के ये लिख रहा हूँ, तो एक कमी महसूस हो रही है। कल से जल्दी-जल्दी भाग के PVR JUHU नहीं पहुंचना पड़ेगा, दो फिल्मों के बीच में कुछ “खाने जाऊं या नहीं” नहीं सोचना पड़ेगा, अब किसी को भी पकड़ के ‘सिनेमा’ पे बात नहीं कर पाऊंगा, इतने हसीं twitter के लोगों से नहीं मिल पाऊंगा। शायद अगले साल MAMI फिर आऊंगा। इन सात दिनों में मैंने खुद को भी बहुत जाना है, दुनिया को भी। और सिनेमा को भी।
फिर मिलेंगे।

वैसे मेरी सबसे पसंदीदा फ़िल्म JUNUN रही। संगीत का सिनेमा में महत्त्व समझना है तो इसे देखिये, इन दोनों का संगम देखना है तो इसे देखिये, और जुनून देखना है तो इसे देखिये।

Bhaskarmani Tripathi , from Surat

Mumbai Film Festival is a revelation in many ways, and this is coming from a Hyderabadi, where we can boast of having a thriving movie-going culture on par with Chennai. So, I’m not lying when I say that the film festival is perhaps one of the very few reasons which would force me to come to Mumbai, at least once in a year. What I found really interesting was that not only was the crowd quite enthusiastic about what they are going to watch, but also the programming of movie content at MAMI to be top class. And it’s both a boon and a curse for the festival.

The number of screens (and also the seating capacity) allotted for the film fest are not enough to accommodate the crowd, and this time, I had to miss several highly-awaited films because there were like 10,000 people like me eager to get into the auditorium. This time, thanks to MAMI’s association with bookmyshow, it was quite easy to book a slot for a particular film; however, there’s only so much you can do given the number of shows for a particular film and more than that, the distance between the venues. It gets really really frustrating to stand in a queue for more than an hour only to find out, in the end, that you can’t get in like 2 minutes before the film begins. I would definitely recommend the fest to people back home, given its mix of content from India and abroad.

This year, I was gobsmacked when I saw Vetrimaaran’s Visaranai. It was a solid statement on how the innocent people in the country are used as pawns in a bigger game, and how fate is so twisted, for a lot of people. A lot of people were so moved by the film, after all the edge-of-the-seat action, that I’m guessing that they would keep raving about the film to all their friends back home, especially in Chennai. Since it’s backed by Vetrimaaran and Dhanush, it’s not a ‘little gem’, at least not in Tamil Nadu. That privilege goes to Raam Reddy’s Thithi, which is another good film to have been made in Kannada this year. I missed a lot of films this year; but I’m glad that I saw both Visaranai and Thithi.

I’ll be back next year. Hopefully, the organisers at MAMI will find bigger venues, which is the need of the hour given how much the fest has grown.

(P.S: The Versova-Andheri-Juhu gang, at the film fest, itself is the size of a small town. So, there’s your answer about how to accommodate such huge crowd at the fest)

–  Hemanth Kumar C R, from Hyderabad

I attended my first MAMI because the people who run the blog MOIFIGHTCLUB, they raved about the films/fest so much. So writing for it is a small full circle for me. 🙂

Having attended it for four times now, MAMI is one of the most anticipated events for me personally. Despite attending IFFI & PIFF every year, it still remains my personal favourite. To be a complete nobody and observe every famous person you’ve known either through films or twitter, to run through the schedule, and be glad to see TAXI & ANOMALISA have 5 screenings only to feel that the curators were genuinely concerned about bringing the best, to simply enjoy films in the land that bleeds with passion for it. MAMI is all this and more.

Film festivals are about films more than anything else. Though there were hiccups this year with the scheduling, screening quality, seating issues, it was all worth for that moment when Farhan Akhtar’s irritating voice urged us to get up for the national anthem. Anyway, festivals are about seeing cinema break and create new grammar. Its about acquainting with new voices who are pushing cinema forward, and after the festival is over, one walks home with a plethora of opportunities, possibilities and ultimately hope, to have rekindled the faith of a cinema lover that had the stench of mediocrity.

And it is the same reason why KAUL is the film of the festival for me. KAUL is among the very few films at the festival that brought in a brand new language and yet managed to strike a connect right from its first frame. KAUL is among those rare works of art where every aspect of the film reeks of the directors vision and sincerity. It isn’t easy to digest. Its dark and painstakingly truthful in ways it tells you about life, even if its guilt that you feel of living a life which seems worthless after the film. Among the many thoughts that the film manages to stir up, one of the most striking dialogues was ‘Culture is mankind’s revenge on nature’. A theory I believe about cinema states that every art, including cinema, is an attempt at coding culture to help viewers decode it for themselves. And what KAUL has done successfully, is it has coded enough culture for generations of people to decode and find meaning in accord to their life. While speaking to Aadish, he mentioned that he wishes that more young people see the film and that he has only told things in the films which everyone knows but have forgotten. It only fits for Aadish that the Young Critics Lab chose his film as the best one in India gold section. KAUL will remain with me for a long time and will be one of the films I go back to every once in a while, to know how I’m doing in life.

Suyash Kamat, from Goa/Pune

What are your MAMI memories? Do post in the comments section.

(Pic – Manish Rathore)