What's New - Festival Highs

Award winners at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival

Team OGS


Even before Diwali, celebrations of a different kind were underway in India's film capital at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star, with cinema aficionados queuing up at theatres across the city to catch some of the year's most celebrated titles, alongside breakthrough Indian films which premiered at the festival. After seven days of packed halls and passionate conversations around cinema, the festival concluded with its closing ceremony on October 24. 


 The festival's India Gold competition presents the best of contemporary Indian fiction and documentary features from across the country. The top prize, the Golden Gateway Award for Best Film went to Prateek Vats’ ‘Eeb Allay Ooo!’.  Earlier in October, the film had its world premiere at the Pingyao International Film Festival (China) and is now set to open the 8th Dharamshala International film festival (Nov 7 - 10). Lead actor Shardul Bhardwaj plays a young migrant hired as a 'monkey repeller' tasked with keeping hordes of monkeys away from important government properties in India's capital, New Delhi. Bharadwaj won a Special Jury Mention for his performance.


Prateek Vats receiving the Golden Gateway from the Chairperson, Deepika Padukone


The Silver Gateway was awarded to Gitanjali Rao’s ‘Bombay Rose’ which chronicles the lives of small-town migrants who seek minimal life in the maximum city. The film was the first-ever Indian animated feature to screen at the Film Critic's Week at the Venice Film Festival. Writer-director Saurav Rai won the Grand Jury Prize for the screenplay of his feature ‘Nimtoh’ ('Invitation') which had its world premiere at MAMI. Another Special Jury Mention was awarded to Mohini Sharma for her moving performance of a widow who decides to live life on her terms in Kislay’s debut feature 'Aise Hi' (‘Just Like That’). The film also bagged the Film Critics Guild Award, while the Special Jury Mention in the category went to Deepti Gupta’s ‘Shut Up Sona’. 

The other major award category, the International Competition spotlights innovative, debut work in fiction and documentary. The Golden Gateway went to ‘Honeyland’ by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska a stirring documentary which follows a beekeeper in Macedonia. The film bagged three awards at this year's Sundance film festival and is North Macedonia's official entry to the 2020 Oscars. The Silver Gateway went to Rodd Rathjen’s ‘Buoyancy’ which is on the harrowing forced labour in Cambodia, and Suhaib Gasmelbari’s ‘Talking About Trees’, which documents the demise of Sudanese cinema and a group of retired directors hoping to revive their country’s love of film, won the Grand Jury Prize. The Special Jury Mention was shared by Carlo Sironi’s ‘Sole’ and Amjad Abu Alala’s ‘You Will Die at Twenty’. 


Gitanjali Rao with the team of 'Bombay Rose' at the closing ceremony


Just as MAMI celebrates and discovers film talent from India and abroad it also provides a strong platform to promote young and upcoming voices. MAMI's Young Critics Lab aims to nurture future writing on cinema. This year's Best Young Critic was  Sanchita Shetty while Siddhant Chawla and Sanjana Bhagwat shared the Special Mention. The Young Critics Award for the best film in India Gold also went to Prateek Vats’ ‘Eeb Allay Ooo!’.

The inaugural Screen to Word MAMI-HarperCollins Imprint Grant which will commission original books on cinema went to Mukesh Manjunath

The Dimensions Mumbai section at showcases short films by emerging filmmakers from Mumbai between the ages of 18 and 25. The Golden Gateway was awarded to Akshay Sarjerao Danavale’s ‘Batti’ and the Silver Gateway to Shubham Sanap’s ‘Attention’. Deeksha Mhaskar’s ‘Unsaid’ and Avishkar Bharadwaj’s ‘Apna Apna Andaz’ shared the Special Mention.

The Manish Acharya Award for New Voices in Indian Cinema was introduced this year to honour the late stalwart director Manish Acharya and to encourage new filmmakers who embody his spirit. The inaugural award was shared by Gitanjali Rao for ‘Bombay Rose’ and 23-year-old self-taught filmmaker Achal Mishra for ‘Gamak Ghar’. Set in his ancestral home in Bihar, Mishra’s directorial debut fuses documentary and fiction to create a hybrid. 


Shubham Sanap with the producer of 'Attention'                                                                                         


   Achal Mishra with the team of 'Gamak Ghar'


The Discovering India section spotlights Indian Cinema’s universal reach in globalised, changing landscapes and screens films that stage a confluence between India and the world. Danish Renzu’s ‘The Illegal’, a gritty and realistic portrayal of the social underclass of immigrants in the US, won the Special Award for Discovering India in Association with Turkish Airlines.  

The Half Ticket section is curated especially for children and young adults and comprises of outstanding, imaginative, and compelling features and shorts, including live-action, documentary and animation films that vie for children’s jury awards. The section's Golden Gateway was awarded to Guillaume Maidatchevsky’s ‘Ailo’s Journey’ (5 -12 years category) and Valerie Barnhart’s ‘Girl in the Hallway’ (13-17 years category).

The Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films section acknowledges the ever-growing importance of the short film format and this year's award for the section went to Nikhil Rao’s ‘Indian Circus’.


Neelima Azeem receiving the Discovering India Award for her film 'The Illegal'


The ceremony concluded with Festival Director Anupama Chopra and Artistic Director Smriti Kiran announcing the dates for the 2020 edition of MAMI which will be held from November 5-12.