For many, the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star serves as an annual pilgrimage to watch films from around the world that they may not otherwise have access to. Today the festival announced its line-up of films and juries. Filmmakers Zoya Akhtar and Vetri Maaran are part of this year's International Competition jury. From the masterclasses to the movies and more, here are 5 highlights from today's press conference:
Some of the international titles this year include sci-fi drama Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt, Martin Scorsese's gangster epic The Irishman, Shia LaBeouf's Sundance darling Honeyboy and Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir. Not to mention the latest from festival favourites Ken Loach and Pedro Almodovar.
The festival announced its India Gold and India Story lineup a few weeks ago. It includes Bhaskar Hazarika's Aamis, Gurvinder Singh's Khanaur and Gitanjali Rao's animated feature Bombay Rose (which had premiered at the Venice International Film Festival). Today's press conference saw the announcement of the Spotlight section, which includes a fresh bunch of Indian titles such as Tanuja Chandra's documentary Aunty Sudha Aunty Radha, Arati Kadav's sci-fi feature Cargo, Kamal Swaroop's The Casting Of The Ocean and actress Seema Pahwa's directorial debut Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi.
Meirelles, who co-directed the celebrated Brazilian drama, City Of God, will conduct a masterclass at the festival as well as receive the Excellence In Cinema International Award. Meirelles also made films such as The Constant Gardener, and most recently, Netflix's The Two Popes starring Anthony Hopkins. The latter premiered at The Telluride Film Festival and will be screened at MAMI this year.
A film executive who's had a defining impact on Hollywood, Franklin Leonard, will head the only Indian competition section at the festival. Leonard is the founder of The Black List – a company that undertakes an annual survey of the best screenplays that haven't been made into films, to give them the attention they deserve. Films to have come out of the blacklist include Steven Spielberg's The Post, Mindy Kaling's Late Night and Craig Gillespie's I, Tonya among many others. Joining Leonard on the jury will be previous head of the Cannes Film Festival Christian Jeune, Festival Director Of The Dublin International Film Festival Grainne Humphreys and IMDB-founder Col Needham.
Celebrated actress Deepti Naval will be the recipient of this year's Excellence In Cinema India Award. The actress, filmmaker, artist and poet has over 60 films to her name through her illustrious career including beloved classics like Sai Paranjpye's Chashme Buddoor. More recently, she was lauded for her work in NH10 and Prime Video series Made In Heaven.