Jio MAMI 20th Mumbai Film Festival opening ceremony recognises #MeToo as 'profound collective reckoning'
Under the open sky, with the iconic Gateway Of India in its backdrop, the Jio Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) 20th Mumbai Film Festival started on Thursday night, on an emotional note. It stood in solidarity with the #MeToo movement that aims to create an inclusive environment at workplace.
Considering the fact that the #MeTooMovement in India is gaining momentum, calling it a 'profound collective reckoning' festival director Anupama Chopra said at the opening ceremony, "We are starting the festival with conflicted emotions, in solidarity with the #MeTooMovement. We decided to exclude certain films from the festival."
Hosted by actress Kalki Koechlin, the ceremony was graced by Karan Johar, Anil Kapoor, Zoya Akhtar, Radhika Apte, Soha Ali Khan, Diana Penty, Vishal Bhardwaj and Tabu to international filmmakers Sean Baker, Thom Noble and Lucrecia Martel among others.
Being the jury member of the Dimensions Mumbai section, filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani said, "I think it is a great initiative to have a section where filmmakers under 25 get a chance to showcase their work on big screen. I still remember when in the film institute we made a film which was shown on the big screen. The joy of watching it on the big screen was stunning. So I am absolutely looking forward to these films."
The festival honoured the iconic filmmaker Shyam Benegal with the Excellence In Cinema Award.
Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan who, along with veteran actress Jaya Bachchan, presented the award to Benegal, said, "Shyamji is one of my favourite filmmakers and his films created a deep impact on me, so I am so happy to be here. I think the film industry owes you so much sir."
Benegal, who felt very emotional receiving the award, said, "This is like my one hand giving the award to another I feel like a very much part of MAMI. I was one of the founder members of the festival; and back then, I used to think that people who are part of MAMI should give themselves some awards also. Well, I lost, they won, now I won (this award)."
This year, a book has been published that captured the detailed journey of the festival for the last 20 years. The book is authored by Sucheta Chakraborty and Ruklina Bose. After unveiling the book in the presence of festival directors and board members like Anupama, Smriti Kiran and Kiran Rao, along with Benegal, authors and publisher of the book, Jaya Bachchan said, "About 25 years ago, I told Amit Khanna to start a film festival here in Mumbai. Back then, he said it is impossible to happen. However, a few years later, when we started the festival, I was so happy to see Amit on board with us."
The film festival will continue till 1 November.
(With inputs from the Indo-Asian News Service)
Updated Date: Oct 26, 2018 11:18 AM