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B-Town filmmakers pick their favourites for MAMI Mumbai Film Festival

In the run-up to the 17th MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, we ask filmmakers to list a movie for which they are keeping their diaries empty

Exciting times await cinema lovers. The 17th Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI) Mumbai Film Festival kicks off on October 28. The event, which struggled to find financial support last year, is expected to be bigger and better this time round.

Rajkummar Rao (left) and Manoj Bajpayee in a still from Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh, which received a standing ovation at the Busan International Film Festival, and more recently, the London Film Festival
Rajkummar Rao (left) and Manoj Bajpayee in a still from Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh, which received a standing ovation at the Busan International Film Festival, and more recently, the London Film Festival

This edition will screen of 160 films across various genres and languages. They have been categorised under World Cinema, India Gold, Mumbai Dimensions, Restored Classics, Half Ticket and Experimental Cinema.

A still from Sri Lankan refugee drama Dheepan, which won Palme d’Or, highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival 2015. It was helmed by French director Jacques Audiard
A still from Sri Lankan refugee drama Dheepan, which won Palme d’Or, highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival 2015. It was helmed by French director Jacques Audiard

A host of film personalities are expected to be part of the eight-day fest, with Amitabh Bachchan and Kangana Ranaut likely to attend the opening day.

With less than a fortnight to go for MAMI, hitlist asks a few filmmakers to name the movie that they want a glimpse of...

Kushan Nandy
Kushan Nandy

My pick: Mountain May Depart, Dheepan, Taxi and Haramkhor
Why: The director of 88 Antop Hill (2003) and Hum Dum (2005) seems spoilt for choice. Although he wants to watch as many films as possible, his top choices include Mountain May Depart, Dheepan, Taxi and Haramkhor. “Jia Zhangke’s Mountain May Depart seems interesting because the filmmaker gave us the murky and vicious A Touch of Sin, also showcased in MAMI a couple of years ago. Set in China and Australia, this film (Mountain May Depart) has a non-linear narrative and is probably Zhangke’s most ambitious film and hence, promises to be an intriguing watch. Dheepan, Taxi and Shlok Sharma’s Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer Haramkhor might also be films worth waiting for,” says Kushan.

Anand L Rai
Anand L Rai

My pick: Dheepan and Aligarh
Why: The Tanu Weds Manu director is eagerly awaiting the screening of Tamil-French drama, Dheepan, which travelled to various film festivals and also won an award at Cannes 2015. “I heard about the film long ago and now that the film will be shown at this festival, I am hoping to catch it. I also want to watch Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh. It is a delicate subject. I want to know how an Indian director has handled it,” says Anand.

Meghna Gulzar
Meghna Gulzar

My pick: Aligarh
Why: Her recently released film, Talvar, based on the Noida double murder case, garnered appreciation from the audience and critics alike. While the filmmaker wants to watch multiple films at the fest, she has Aligarh on her must-watch list. “There are several films I’d like too see, but Aligarh is an urgent favourite. Hansal Mehta is a perfectionist in biographical stories of everyday, unsung characters,” says Meghna.

Shyam Benegal
Shyam Benegal

My pick: Aligarh
Why: One of the most revered directors of the Hindi film industry, Benegal has thsi year’s opening film Aligarh on his wishlist. “I haven’t seen the film and I know Hansal (Mehta) is a talented director. I am hopeful that this film is also as good or even better than his previous works,” he says.

Neeraj Ghaywan
Neeraj Ghaywan

My pick: Dheepan
Why: The director rose to fame with his award-winning debut film, Masaan, is also looking forward to Dheepan, which was apparently partly inspired by Montesquieu’s Persian Letters. “I love director Jacques Audiard’s films and have followed his filmography closely. I am extremely keen to see him direct a story relatively alien to his world,” says Neeraj.

Amole Gupte
Amole Gupte

My pick: Youth
Why: I am eager to watch Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth. I loved The Great Beauty (2013) by the same filmmaker and have been waiting to watch his next for long. Every minute is a long wait.

Buzz has it

Dhanush, who won the National Award for Best Actor in 2010 for Tamil film Aadukalam, was apparently approached for Dheepan directed by Jacques Andiard.

Dhanush

The French director’s film won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year. However, Dhanush could not take up the project owing to prior commitments, says a source, adding, “The makers of Dheepan had considered him for a role. He had read the script and liked it. But, since he had a few other work commitments, he could not sign the film.”

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