The 20th Mumbai Film Festival that opens on October 25, features a horde of acclaimed films from India and abroad. The festival will be opened by filmmaker Vasan Bala’s Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota which recently won the Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award at the acclaimed Toronto International Film Festival. Among the 64 films that will be screened in World Cinema section, are films of auteurs like Jia Zhangke (Ash Is Purest White), Jean-Luc Godard (The Image Book), Lars Von Trier (The House That Jack Built), Afonso Cuarón (Roma), Naomi Kawase (Vision), and Amos Gitai (A Tramway In Jerusalem). Here are 10 other important films that you shouldn’t miss at MAMI Film Festival.
Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival in May 2018, and has been chosen as Japan’s official selection to the Oscar. The widely acclaimed Shoplifters (original title: Manbiki Kazoku) talks about an impoverished Japanese family that gets by pulling off petty thefts. The film is on the veins of his No Body Knows (2004), said Kore-eda in an interview, where he described the film as his most socially conscious to date.
In 2015, Ere Gowda scripted one of India’s best films, Thithi, which was directed by Raam Reddy, which went on to win awards across the world. Two years later, he made his directorial debut, Balekempa (Bangle Seller), set in a Karnataka village and with a non-professional cast. The film revolves around a childless married couple. The film won the FIPRESCI award at International Film Festival Of Rotterdam in 2018.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan is Turkey’s most acclaimed and popular filmmaker. His Wild Pear Tree is about a young aspiring writer living in a picturesque, but uneventful Turkish village. The film has a pace that has come to be known as Ceylan’s style, and the visuals are stunning and captivating. It was nominated for a Palme d’Or, and has been chosen as Turkey’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.
Birds Of Passage
This visually stunning Columbian film, directed by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra who made the Oscar-nominated Embrace Of The Serpent (2015), is about the rise of the Colombian drug business. At the center of the story is an indigenous tribe. The film opened the 50th edition of the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, and has been selected as Columbia’s official submission to the Oscar race this year.
The South Korean mystery drama about a young man and a missing girl, is directed by Lee Chang-dong, the veteran filmmaker whose filmography includes Peppermint Candy and Secret Sunshine. Burning is based on Haruki Murakami’s short story, Barn Burning. The film was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, and is South Korean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards. At Cannes it won the FIPRESCI award for the best film, and the jury termed it a “visually stunning film and an emotionally complex comment on contemporary society.”
Malgorzata Szumowska’s Polish comedy won the Grand Prix award at 68th Berlin International Film Festival. An affable metalhead, employed as a builder on a giant statue of Jesus in Western Poland, undergoes a face transplant post an accident. The film follows his life post the expensive surgery that changes his life forever.
Christian Petzold’s World War II drama is adapted from Anna Seghers’ 1944 novel of the same name. A writer commits suicide in a French hotel, and subsequently, a technician, fleeing from France, probably after Nazi invasion, takes his papers and assumes his identity. The film never uses the word Nazi, and keeps the portrayal of the era to minimum. The noir drama earned highly positive reviews at every film festival it went to.
In The Aisles
Directed by Thomas Stuber, this German romance-drama about emotional misfits unfurls in a warehouse supermarket. It stars Sandra Huller, who shot to international acclaim with Toni Erdmann (2017) as a married woman who starts an affair with a socially awkward loner (Franz Rogowski of Transit fame). The film won two major awards, for the best film awards from both the Ecumenical Jury and the jury for the German Film Guild, at this year’s Berlin International Film Awards.
Sorry To Bother You
Directed by Boots Riley, the rapper, Sorry To Bother You is an American absurdist dark comedy centered around an African-American who adopts a White man’s accent to work in a telemarketing job. The film pokes fun at capitalism and is a race allegory that might remind one of Get Out. The film premiered in Sundance film festival this year.
An Elephant Sitting Still
This is the first and final film of Hu Bo, a 29-year-old Chinese filmmaker who hanged himself before the film’s release, in October 2017. He wrote, directed and edited the film which is set in the northern Chinese city of Manzhouli which is home to a mythical elephant that sits still and idle, ignoring the world. The four-hour long film is a meditative expression of human suffering in the decaying former industrial town. The film received a Special Mention for Best First Feature and a FIPRESCI award at the Berlin International Film Festival, 2018.
Three Identical Strangers
Film-maker Tim Wardle’s documentary is about a shocking incident of identical triplets separated at birth and run into each in the course of life. Bobby Shafran, Eddy Galland and David Kellman, a set of identical triplets, didn’t know each other until they were 19. They later find out that they were separated by New York City adoption agency that didn’t inform their adoptive parents they were a set of three. The compelling documentary premiered at Sundance Film Festival this year, and won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Storytelling.