Tag Archives: Shankar Mahadevan

18th JIO MAMI Opening Ceremony 2016 – the glamour and the glitz!

18th JIO MAMI Opening Ceremony 2016 – the glamour and the glitz!

written by Souranath Banerjee

JIO MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival 2016, it’s happening right now, right here and it’s a heaven for film lovers!

And this time MAMI had one of the most grand Opening Ceremony ever!

The Venue:

Mumbai, October 20, 2016: Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star kicked off its 18th edition with a grand ceremony at the iconic Royal Opera House as world-renowned filmmakers, talent and 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016Bollywood stars walked the red carpet to celebrate the city’s very own film festival.

The Royal Opera House is the last standing Baroque building in Mumbai. The royal family of Gondal – the owners of the venue – have worked towards ensuring the complete restoration of this centre under the watchful eye of conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah. The iconic structure has a long standing association with art, literature, theatre, music, and has hosted operas and live performances of many celebrated artists.

The stars:

Bollywood came in full support at the 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016 Red Carpet which was attended by Amitabh 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Poonam Dhillon, Ayan Mukerji, Vinod Chopra, Genelia Dsouza, Shabana Azmi , Zoya Akhtar, Kalki Koechlin, Shobha De,  Rajeev Samant,  Reema Kagti, Ashutosh and Sunita Gowariker, Huma Quershi, Rahul Bose, Harshvardhan Kapoor,  Kunal Kapoor, Nandita Das, R Balki, Abhishek Kapoor, Mini Mathur, Imran Khan, Diya Mirza, Richa Chaddha,  Abhay Deol, Vicky Kaushal and many more.

Jacqueline Fernandez hosted the event. Also present were Festival Director Anupama Chopra, Co-Chairperson Kiran Rao and other 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016Board of Directors including Anurag Kashyap, Rohan Sippy, Riteish Deshmukh, Siddharth Roy Kapur and Vikramaditya Motwane.

Star quotes:

Mrs. Nita Mukesh Ambani, Festival Co-Chair said, “We are all privileged to be here at the resurrected Royal Opera House in its new avatar, a quintessential Mumbai Icon that has been lovingly brought to life for all of us. We really could not have asked for a more befitting venue to open this festival. In the true tradition of the Mumbai, Jio MAMI continues to delight us and surprise us.  Each year they are raising the bar higher and higher for themselves. The festival has put together a truly 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016incredible program and a stellar line-up of films this year. Today is my proud privilege to announce and introduce a new category of award- ‘The Jio MAMI Award for Excellence in Digital Narrative Content’. Through this award we want to discover and celebrate, the talent and potential of our youth. This award will be presented from next year onward. We hope this award will encourage young talent to reimagine their creative promise and take Indian cinema to newer and greater 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016heights, especially in the digital space. Jio MAMI is of Mumbai, by Mumbai and of Mumbai.”

Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India said, “Mumbai Film Festival stands out as a more celebratory event than a ceremonial one. It celebrates great stories and serves as a podium for young talent. In our third year of association with MAMI, our endeavour is to make world-class cinema an accessible and organic experience to the people of Mumbai – a city with deep roots in cinema and its 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016history.”

Festival Director, Anupama Chopra said, “The 18th Edition of the festival will celebrates stories and cinema traditions from around the world. We hope that people enjoy this film feast.”

Creative Director, Smriti Kiran said, “Dazzled by the elegance and grandeur of the Opening Ceremony of the festival at the Royal Opera House. At one point I think I was not even breathing. Over 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016500 film lovers ringing in the festival for 2016. It was a dream come true.”

The Award for ‘Excellence in Cinema-India’ was presented to Director and screenwriter Sai Paranjpye by Mrs. Jaya Bachchan. Paranjpye has won numerous awards, both National and International for her writing and films. She was conferred with the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 2006 and has served on numerous juries and has been the Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society of India.

On receiving the Award for Excellence in Cinema-India, Filmmaker and Screenwriter Sai Paranjpye said, “It is wonderful to see the program being made here, encouraging new directors and women directors. I really feel privileged to receive this award from Mrs. Jaya Bachchan 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016in the magnificent Royal Opera House.”

The Award for ‘Excellence in Cinema- International’ was presented to Chinese Filmmaker, Jia Zhangke known for his cinematic representation of his country’s post-Mao and post-globalization cultural history. His recent films A Touch of Sin, 2013; Mountains May Depart, 2015), has offered a unique perspective on a transitional generation whose commonplace lives evoke universal resonance. The award to Jia Zhangke was presented by Actor Aamir Khan.

On receiving the Award for Excellence in Cinema- International, Chinese Filmmaker Jia Zhangke said, “It is the first time I am coming to Mumbai and India and really thankful to MAMI film festival and the film fraternity.  No matter if its China or India, we have really good 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016audience and we should continue to produce good movies for them.”

Also present at the Opening Ceremony were the esteemed jurors of India Gold section – Head of Jury Reha Erdem, Mychael Danna, Stephanie Zacharek, Yonfan and Tomasz Wasilewski. Head of International Competition Jury, Miguel Gomes was present along with other jurors Tala Hadid, Chris Mcdonald, Anurag Kashyap and Christine Vachon.

The special guests of the evening were nine delegates from Bhutan who were especially flown down to Mumbai to experience this 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016festival. The Hon’ble Secretary of Ministry of Information and Communications – Mr. Dasho Karma W Penjor, Librarian, Department of Information and Media – Mr. Thinley Dorji, Assistant Information and Media, Department of Information and Media- Mr. Phub Wangdi, and other members from the Bhutan Film Association were present to grace the evening.

Four-time National Award winner, Shankar Mahadevan gave a mesmerising performance at the opening ceremony!

Photo courtesy: mumbaifilmfest.com

The New Wave of Marathi Cinema (10+1list)

The New Wave of Marathi Cinema.

written by Souranath Banerjee

The New Wave of Marathi Cinema is right here right now, exploding this instant, getting more ingenious and innovational every year – but first, let’s get back to the time when it all started!

Flashback. It was in 1913 when a man from Trymbakeshwar (Nasik) called Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (popularly known as Dadasaheb raja-harishchandra-posterPhalke) made the first ever Indian Cinema, a short film named Raja Harishchandra!

Yes, it was a silent film but still essentially a Marathi one, since all the actors and the director himself were from Maharashtra; and then the screenplay, the prologue in the beginning of the movie and even the explaining of the plot details are all in Marathi!

Then followed a number of interesting films including a famous classic biography called Sant Tukaram (1936), directed by the famous director-duo Vishnupant Govind Damle and Sheikh Fattelal.

And over the years there were many acclaimed Marathi directors who made cinema that won the heart of both the audience and the critics across the country. The likes of –

jait-re-jait-posterShyamchi Aai (1953) and Mahatma Phule (1954) by director Pralhad Keshav Atre.

Me Tulas Tujhya Angani (1960), Rangalya Ratree Ashya (1962), Ektee (1968) and Mumbaicha Jawai (1970) by director Raja Thakur.

Samna (1975), Jait Re Jait (1977), Umbartha (1982) and Ek Hota Vidushak (1992) by director Jabbar Patel.

And then there were the entertaining Blockbuster hits like Maherchi Sadi (1991) and the popular horror flick Zapatlela (1993); and a few commercial comedy films like Pandu Hawaldar (1975), Ashi Hi Banwa Banwi Dombivli-fast-poster(1988) and Dhum Dhadaka (1985).

But the sign of the upcoming New Wave of Marathi Cinema came with the release of films like Kalat Nakalat (1990), Bangarwadi (1995), Not Only Mrs. Raut (2003)Saatchya Aat Gharat (2004) and Dombivli Fast (2005). 

Yes, the time has come for experimental, off-beat, innovative, new-generation Marathi Cinema, and here is the list of the best Marathi films of the last decade or so.

10. Shwaas (2004)

Film clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlg5yScPQ18

shwaas-posterA six year old village boy goes to the city (Pune) along with his grandfather for the treatment of his eyes. But the doctor have some tragic news for them.

Directed by Sandeep Sawant, this is a film based on the emotions of a brilliantly touching grandparent – child relationship.

Such powerful performances – a film that will surely wrench your heart to it’s limit.

9. Harishchandrachi Factory (2009)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPvvMbXLfpA

harishchandrachi-factory-posterDadasaheb Phalke aka Dhundiraj Govind Phalke made the first cinema in India – a silent, black and white film in 1913 known as Raja Harishchandra.

Directed by Paresh Mokashi, this is the biopic on Mr.Phalke who was a visionary, an artist, a film maker and an entrepreneur, and this particular film is about his adventurous endeavours towards making the first ever film of India. 

8. Natarang (2010)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWzxFgP2f8g

natarang-posterMaharashtra has a rich tradition of theatre and thus when acclaimed director Ravi Jadhav did finally make a film based on the brilliance of Marathi theatre it was undoubtedly one of the most successful regional films of the year.

The film worked both commercially as well as artistically; a visual treat brilliantly supported by the music of the talented composer duo Ajay Atul.

Atul Kulkarni was nominated for Best Performance By An Actor in the prestigious Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2010 for this film!

A few other Marathi films from the same director are Sound of Heaven: The Story of Balgandharva (2011) and Balak Palak (2012).

7. Deool (2011)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfzctPCpb2A

deool-posterAn innocent villager claims the arrival of God in his village!

Initially ignored by all but soon the rumour starts to spread and businessmen and politicians doesn’t seem to miss this opportunity to cash in on people’s faith and belief.

Directed by Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni, written and brilliantly performed by Girish Kulkarni, a must watch indeed.

6. Shala (2011)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IFxDCci564

shala-posterA marvellous take on young hearts, school romance, the nostalgic moments of having an infatuation or a crush on somebody, the innocence of experiencing love for the first time – and all that combined together!

Directed by Sujay Dahake, this is one film that creates the magic of that divine first love – so pure and blissful. Superb performances by the child actors – a must watch.

5. Killa (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ORlbsJLJuQ

killa-marathi-posterA coming-of-age film based on a young boy who arrives at a new place along with his single mother and is forced to adapt to a new village/school environment.

Subtle yet cinematic, mature believable performances and great story telling.

Directed by well known Bollywood cinematographer Avinash Arun – a superb directorial debut.

4. Dr. Prakash Baba Amte: The Real Hero (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnqioO1v8fs

dr-prakash-baba-amte-posterA well crafted biography made on the Dr.Prakash Baba Amte and his wife Manadakini, who has given their entire life for the welfare of others (for humans and animals).

(Click for Review)

Well directed by Samrouddhi Porey, and tremendous performances by Nana Patekar and Sonali Kulkarni, the film not only touched the important aspects of Amte’s life but also has stressed the emotional moments with enough dignity.

3. Katyar Kaljat Ghusali (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iTazEogwiY

katyar-kaljat-ghusali-posterWhen two musical dynasties fight for supremacy there can be only one winner – Music itself!

Directed by Subodh Bhave, this is an unique musical (based on a play by the same name) that has a string of brilliant songs and powerful story telling!

Shankar Mahadevan and Sachin Pilgaonkar are the spine of the film – superb performances!

2. Natsamrat (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp1Hv_-hLUY

Natsamrat-poster2Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, this one is an emotional
story of an aged couple who has become a nuisance to their own children, a mere botheration and a reason of embarrassment in their modern lifestyle.

(Click for Review)

An unique blend of Theatre and Cinema – Nana Patekar with one of his best performances ever!

A few other Marathi films from the same director are Kaksparsh (2012) and Astitva (2000).

  1. Sairat (2016) 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMrMKnoYWwA

sairat-poster1The story of Romeo and Juliet, Laila and Majnu, Heer and Ranjha – retold and rediscovered with the backdrop being somewhere in the interior of Maharashtra!

A fisherman’s son and a local politician’s daughter fall in love and dare to defy their families and caste barriers.

Directed by Nagraj Manjule, this is one of the best films I have seen in recent times!

Another Marathi film from the same director Fandry (2013).

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Court (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sc8z7zav9A

court-posterDirected by Chaitanya Tamhane, a Marathi film that won the National Award (Golden Lotus Award) in the Best Feature Film category and innumerable prestigious International awards as well. 

(Click for Review)

A court-room drama that revolves around folk-singer Narayan Kamble’s unique prosecution – a script deliberately underplayed and yet so effective to it’s purpose!

A few other Marathi films that have made their marks within these recent years Mee Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy (2009), Jogwa (2009), Mumbai Pune Mumbai (2010)Yellow (2014), Time Pass (2014), Elizabeth Ekadashi (2014), Rege (2014), Double Seat (2015).

Poster courtesy: www.marathifilm.inmarathistars.com.