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Kamal Haasan, Mani Ratnam, Priyanka Chopra Jonas light up grand opening of Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival

By Sampad Oct28,2023
Mani Ratnam, Kamal Haasan, Priyanka Chopra Jonas at the red carpet of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival

Mani Ratnam, Kamal Haasan, Priyanka Chopra Jonas at the red carpet of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival

The Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival kicked off with a grand ceremony at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) in Mumbai on October 27. The festival, which screens a diverse selection of Indian, South Asian and world cinema for the city’s cinephiles, is back with a physical edition after a hiatus of four years. It is screening over 250 films in 70 languages over 10 days till November 5.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the chairperson of Jio MAMI, declared the festival open with the master ceremony.

The opening night commenced with legendary directors Mani Ratnam and Luca Guadagnino being honoured with the Excellence in Cinema award. Kamal Haasan and Priyanka Chopra Jonas presented the awards to these luminaries.

Kamal and Mani Ratnam, known for their iconic collaboration on the Tamil-language gangster epic Nayakan (1987), also spoke about their upcoming film together, KH234, which reunites the duo after over three decades.

Mani Ratnam, Kamal Haasan

Mani Ratnam, Kamal Haasan

“We are as excited as those who want to see us work together,” Kamal said on stage while honouring his old colleague and friend. “We are both producing the film together under our respective banners Raaj Kamal Films and Madras Talkies. Mani is directing it and any job he gives me I will do. I am also the lead man.”

“I will keep it in mind,” Ratnam quipped, to resounding laughter. The teaser of KH 234 will be released on November 7.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mira Nair is the head of jury of the South Asia Competition at this year’s Mumbai Film Festival. She was joined on stage by her fellow jurors—David Michod, Isabel Sandoval and Edouard Waintrop.

Bhumi Pednekar as the brand ambassador for Dimensions Mumbai – a short film competition on the theme of Mumbai City for filmmakers across India – presented the awards to the winners along with Shahana Goswani, Anvitaa Dutt and Shriya Pilgaonkar. Nightingales in the Cocoon by Praveen Giri won the Dimensions Mumbai Gold Award winner while Halfway by Kumar Chheda won the Silver Award.

Sonam Kapoor Ahuja

Sonam Kapoor Ahuja

Sonam Kapoor Ahuja presented the award for the best book on cinema to Prakash Magdum for his work, Mahatma on Celluloid: A Cinematic Biography. The book explores the canon of documentaries, feature films and newsreels made on Mahatma Gandhi by a vast range of filmmakers.

The lifetime achievement awards were bestowed upon veteran Indian critic Aruna Vasudev, acclaimed author and subtitler Nasreen Munni Kabir and film programmer and casting director Uma Da Cunha. The awards were presented by Marco Muller, Karan Johar and Adoor Gopalakrishnan respectively.

Hansal Mehta’s The Buckingham Murders was the opening night film at the festival. The filmmaker was joined by lead star Kareena Kapoor Khan at the red carpet and South Asia premiere screening. Actor Saif Ali Khan also attended the gala evening.

By Sampad

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