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।
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)