(October 20 to 27, 2016)
Discovering India …
Discovering India, now a unique part of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, holds up a mirror to Indian cinema that is globalising as the world goes global. Such cinema goes beyond Diaspora. It provides a platform for another viewpoint but working within recognisable Indian idiom.
Every year the section looks at the growing international content in Indian cinema, an upsurge that caters to an evolving audience more exposed to western cinema and the sophistication of the Indian diaspora.
International directors are turning to India for themes, cast, crew and locations. More sales agents and distributors from abroad are beginning to pick up Indian films and Indian film talent, which is proliferating over several continents. All of which has an obvious influence on script and style, captured in varying ways in their storytelling and their films.
‘Discovering India’ presents six films this year, with two films, its opening and closing, being works from known masters. The remaining four offer promising debuts. From Canada, the celebrated Deepa Mehta narrows her focus in her film "Anatomy of Violence” to a bare-boned, hard-hitting fictionalised enactment of what led to the brutalisation of a young woman by six rapists in a moving private bus in Delhi. From USA, Los Angeles based Mainak Dhar’s debut shows two young men, best friends in college in India, who after ten years, find themselves on a car ride down the Pacific Coast Highway. Along the way, they get to learn a lot about each other.
From North Carolina, American filmmaker John Upchurch sets his film in North India, where early dementia leads an elderly man to reach out for his severed roots when as a boy he faced the ravages of the Partition. On home ground, N Padmakumar, in his debut feature, looks at a foreign educated, Hindu-Muslim couple trying to relocate in Mumbai and encounter unexpected hurdles. From Germany, Bettina Ehrhardt presents her reverential tribute to music maestro Zubin Mehta on his 80th birthday. And Jio MAMI pays tribute to Australian filmmaker Paul Cox, who passed away on June 18, 2016, with the screening of his last film, “Force of Destiny”, much of it set in the India he loved and visited frequently all through his working life.
‘Discovering India’ covers a varying spectrum of India represented through the perspective of its many regions and that of directors from different countries. Enjoy the experience and the films!
Opening Film Deepa Mehta’s Anatomy of Violence
Closing Film John Upchurch’s Mango Dreams
Mainak Dhar’s 417 Miles
N Padmakumar’s A Billion Colour Story
Bettina Ehrhardt’s Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds
– The Conductor Zubin Mehta (documentary)
Tribute Paul Cox’s Force of Destiny