Discovering Indian cinema in a globalised landscape

There's a bonus in store for filmmakers premiering their work in the Discovering India section at the 21st MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.

One critically acclaimed and meritorious film from the quintet being screened in this category will be awarded an international round-trip ticket to travel to a festival of their choice, sponsored by Turkish Airlines. The contest will be adjudged by a two-member jury comprising Namrata Joshi (The Hindu) and Mike McCahill (The Guardian).

Curated by Uma da Cunha, the Discovering India section at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star spotlights Indian cinema’s appeal in an increasingly globalised landscape. Da Cunha has selected films made by Indians residing in India or films by non resident Indians living abroad and films by international directors who connect with India, thematically or by featuring the country’s locations and film talent.

A debut film to watch out for is Michelin star chef Vikas Khanna's ‘The Last Color’, which will open the Discovering India section on October 18, 2019.

The award-winning film depicts the abiding friendship between Chhoti, a nine-year-old tight-rope walker and flower seller, and Noor (Neena Gupta), a widow who has adopted a life of abstinence from festivities, notably Holi, the festival of colours. The Last Color chronicles the duo's unique connection over the years in which time they challenge archaic social customs.

‘Danish Renzu's The Illegal’ is a gritty depiction of the immigrant underclass in the US,.Its central character is a middle-class Indian student who enrols in an American film school to fulfil his dream of becoming a filmmaker. An unforeseen turn of events forces him to make hard choices.

Social satire 'Aadhaar’ marks National Award-winning director Suman Ghosh's Hindi film debut. It revolves around a Jharkhand male who becomes the first in the state to acquire the titular card, bestowing on him instant stardom. However, a local priest decrees that his unique 12-digit ID number is ill-fated, which impels the poor man to try and change the number bearing the brunt of bureaucratic red tape and religious superstitions.

‘Sun’ is a debut feature in French co-directed by long-time collaborators Jonathan Desoindre and Ella Kowalska, both graduates of the prestigious Sorbonne, Paris.

The titular character (played by French actor Tewfik Jallab), works as a delivery boy in Paris. His routine is upset when his cousin, Ash ( Aadar Malik), suddenly arrives from India with dreams of playing the sitar at the Olympia. How the two men navigate daily struggles forms the warp and woof of the film.

Roam Rome Mein directed by acclaimed actor Tannishtha Chatterjee is a, Hindi, English, Italian film exploring the patriarchal psyche. Having made her mark with such films as ‘Parched’ and ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’, Chatterjee makes her directorial debut with ‘Roam Rome Mei’ co-starring with Nawazuddin Siddique in a narrative about a brother’s frantic search for his missing sister, which paves the path to his self-discovery.

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