Mumbai in focus
The year’s MAMI (Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image) festival will see city-centric shorts by young Mumbaikars. Anju Maskeri picks the best
Film: Toot-ta Judta Aadmi
Director: Yashowardhan Mishra
The recent tragedy in Malvani, Malad, that left more than 68 people dead in 48 hours after consuming spurious liquor, moved Yashowardhan Mishra to delve deeper into its aftermath. “I wanted to focus on the economics; the compensation and the politics behind the tragedy,” he says.
When Mishra visited the spot soon after the tragedy, instead of expected scenes of bereavement, he found the widows arranging for aadhar cards to get aid. “The women had no choice but to move on and take charge,” says the 23-year-old Malad resident. The film is about a family that is on the verge of breakdown after the man of the house falls victim to a hooch tragedy. What follows is a vicious cycle of greed, grief and struggle for survival.
Film: Sasta Bachchan
Director: Tabu Kaariya
To the unsuspecting onlooker, Shashikant Pedwal can pass off as Amitabh Bachchan. “We realised this while shooting with Pedwal in Bandra. He brought traffic to a halt. People stopped to take autographs and pose with him,” laughs filmmaker Tabu Kaariya, who made a film on him.
The 22-year-old tells us that looks aren’t the only common factor between Pedwal and Bachchan. His voice is similar to the actor’s; his wife is the same height as Jaya Bachchan and he even has an elder daughter and younger son. Pedwal works as a professor and does the doppelganger act in ads, videos and films more as a hobby. “Pedwal told us that when students would enter a classroom for the first time, they’d be taken aback. Our intention was to make him the Big B of our film,” she says.
Film: Vada Pav Inc
Director: Siddharth Aalambayan
For Mumbaikar Siddharth Aalambayan, vada pav is the ultimate go-to snack. “When I found out that said the person who invented the vada pav is going to shut shop, I got curious,” says the 22-year-old who made the film, Vada Pav Inc. Soon Aalambayan landed outside Dadar stations’ platform number 1 at the stall founded by late Ashok Vaidya, credited with making the world’s first vada pav.
“Vaidya’s son Narendra, who has an MBA degree, runs the business,” he says. Aalambayan reveals one of the theories floating around about the origin of the snack.
“Narendra said his father set up the shop in 1960s where he started selling vadas outside Dadar station. The neighbouring thela sold omelette pav. One day, in a mood to experiment, he put the vada and garlic chutney between the pav it was a hit.”