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Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival Day 5: Roundup Of Reactions

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It’s the 3rd of November, and day 5 at the Jio MAMI Film Festival. There has been jubilation, fatigue, and a whole lot of conversation. Jury member Cameron Bailey knocks back a beer as he reflects on the changes in Indian cinema, how it had always been in its own self-recursive bubble. But no longer. Here’s our roundup of reactions on what proved to be another eventful day in Mumbai.

The fifth day dawns, and a bleary eyed film lover is still reeling from the magic of Visaranai, two days ago.

And then, at 11:15 am, comes what is justifiably called ‘the craziest film’ of the festival, Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson’s The Forbidden Room.

Mihir Fadnavis goes home that night with a “permanent imprint’ on his brain. He says the film is “a barrage of quivering strobe lighting powerful enough to cause epileptic attacks.” The review is a tantalising testament to the film’s achievements. Here’s snippets, 

“This is a rare kind of a film that is absolutely unwatchable but you can’t take your eyes off it.”

If you’re wanting to know what the film is about, well, don’t.

“Very little in the film makes sense but it doesn’t even matter because the stuff playing on the screen is crazy enough to keep your jaw wide open.”

Only with film.  

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At 2 pm is the ‘Women in Film’ Panel discussion. Shabana Azmi, Vidya Balan, Kangana Ranaut, Kiran Rao, Anupama Chopra and American filmmaker Ava DuVernay talk about the characters on screen, the wage disparity between genders, and what kind of a film a woman is allowed to make.  Dismissing gendered characters as the fulcrum for good storylines, Kangana pointed out that character complexity and realism is what makes for great cinema.

Gone also, was the language of entitlement
 

How important is it to have talented, complex women on screen? Vidya Balan talked about just how much it mattered for her, while growing up, that Shabana Azmi had been there first.

And how much has this constant division based on gender mattered? Kangana joins a host of female actors, who are pointing out that when women are assertive, they are shamed.

“When I want to contribute to a film because I have a title role, my contribution is seen as interfering. Seeing male actors being considered as maverick, larger-than-life star and as a creative person it makes me want to aspire more and achieve the same status in the society, and for that I am called a bad**s and interfering b*tch.”

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At 7 pm was an open air screening of Chetan Anand’s Haqeeqat, based on the 1962 Sino-Indian war. In the days of multiplexes, this was a shout out to what watching film in India used to be like,

At 9 pm, the day wound down with Pan Nalin’s Angry Indian Goddesses, popularly known as India’s first buddy film, and scheduled to release in theatres on November 12. The queue was extensive, and the star cast of Sandhya Mridul, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Anushka Manchanda, Amrit Maghera, Rajshri Deshpande and Pavleen Gujral were all present. 

Also in the audience was,

And how is this for a tribute?    

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Image Courtesy: Jio MAMI Film Festival

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