Jio MAMI fest: Female filmmakers to add varied shades of womanhood

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Mumbai, Oct 11 (IANS) Some delve into love, some deal with conflict, some romance old age while others take the audience on an exploration of culture. Female filmmakers are set to bring diverse stories to the 21st edition of Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star.

After being screened at several international film festivals, filmmaker Gitanjali Rao’s “Bombay Rose” is all set for its India premiere at the fest.

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“Bombay Rose” is the story of a flower seller who has to choose between protecting her family and allowing herself to fall in love. The story is set on the streets of Mumbai (Bombay) and moves from real life to fantasy, accompanied by much-loved Bollywood songs. It is a chronicle of people who migrate from small towns, seeking minimal life in the maximum city.

“Now ‘Bombay Rose’ plays in the maximum city! I am so happy and thrilled to be playing in the Gold Section of MAMI. It’s such a fantastic festival, championing new and ambitious storytellers, celebrating the best of cinema around the world, and for ‘Bombay Rose’ to be part of it is an honour,” Rao said.

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Tanuja Chandra’s debut documentary “Aunty Sudha Aunty Radha” will also have its Asia premiere at the fest in the Spotlight Category.

The film, which had its world premiere in the Madrid International Film Festival, revolves around the lives of two, widowed sisters, aged 86 and 93.

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“Aging is a universal fact and I’m hoping that my quirky Buas will bring a smile on the faces of film lovers in Chicago and Seattle as it did in Madrid. And what’s also very cool is that not just my documentary but my short film, ‘A Monsoon Date’, starring Konkona will be screened at the American festivals as well,” Chandra said.

Another one is celebrity stylist Sapna Moti Bhavnani, whose award-winning directorial debut “Sindhustan” will its Asian Premiere at the film gala in the India Story section.

The film made its world premiere at New York Indian Film Festival, 2019 where it won the Best Docu Feature award.

“Sindhustan” is a fascinating exploration of the Sindhi community’s migration to India narrated through a series of extensively designed body tattoos, all of which are illustrated on Bhavnani’s body. Through the documentary, Bhavnani attempts to also dwell into her roots and the history of the Sindhi community.

“My documentary started its journey with MAMI’s TalkDoc in 2018. This gave a first-time filmmaker like me a chance to speak with the who’s who of the international documentary world before embarking on my edit journey,” Bhavnani said.

“Since my documentary is all about questioning home and the absence of roots nothing gives me more joy than bringing it to sweet home Mumbai on a platform like MAMI,” she pointed out, adding: “Screenings in Chicago and Mumbai back to back is an extremely rewarding and emotional journey for me. Chicago is where I grew up, got my first job at 18 and understood what freedom of personal expression truly meant. Mumbai is where I understood the importance exploring different mediums to express that freedom in, be it hair, writing, film, or skin.”

The festival will run from October 17-24 here.



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