There will be several firsts in the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, running from October 29 to November 5. One of them will be called Half Ticket -- which will be a treat for the children of Mumbai. Here outstanding and imaginative live action, animation and documentary features and shorts from many continents will compete for children’s jury awards.
Kids will also learn movie-making from renowned directors and writers at a special interactive session, which will aim at exposing the young to the finer aspects of cinema in the hope that they will grow up appreciating meaningful celluloid work.
In line with this educative process, The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw will conduct a workshop for 20 chosen students, who will review some of the festival films, competing for a young critic’s award.
This will be followed by another workshop for young adults on November 2 and 3 where Indian directors like Imtiaz Ali, Zoya Akhtar and Avinash Arun will teach direction and editing among other things.
The festival will also introduce a category of movies under After Dark -- where cult cinema will be showcased. These films will be those that have pushed the envelope -- so to say -- swinging between the unbelievable and the absurd, stretching one’s imagination to the fantastic.
In some sort of a grand finale on October 31, a movie mela at Mehboob Studio will celebrate cinema. Creating a make-believe world of film characters, merchandising, books, DVDs and movie conversations, the mela promises to be a fascinating experience.
Put together by critic Rajeev Masand, the mela will have Rishi Kapoor (who has grown into an excellent actor in recent times) holding a masterclass, and Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijit Joshi telling us how to produce a blockbuster. Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Ayushmann Khuranna will be part of this day-long celebration of cinema.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran will cover the Mumbai Film Festival. )