Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival opened with a grand ceremony at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) in Mumbai today. Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Chairperson, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival & Isha Ambani, Executive Director, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, and Director, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited declared the festival open with the master ceremony. A meticulously curated line-up of the best in global and South Asian cinema will present over 250 films spread over 10 days from October 27 to November 5. The curation boasts over 40 World Premieres, 45 Asia Premieres, and 70+ South Asia Premieres, with a record-breaking number of 1000+ submissions for the South Asia programme.
The opening night commenced with the Internationally renowned directors Mani Ratnam and Luca Guadagnino being honoured with the Excellence in Cinema Award for their outstanding, long-lasting contributions to the world of film and cinema. Kamal Haasan & Priyanka Chopra Jonas presented the awards to these formidable artists respectively.
Jury for this year’s Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival’s South Asia Competition include Academy-Award nominated film director Mira Nair as Head of Jury, David Michod, the critically acclaimed director of crime drama Animal Kingdom and The Rover, New York-based multi talented filmmaker on the indie scene Isabel Sandoval, and acclaimed artistic director Edouard Waintrop were welcomed at the special evening.
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 the Dimensions Jury Shahana Goswani, Anvitaa Dutt & Shriya Pilgaonkar. Dimensions Mumbai Gold Award winner is Nightingales in the Cocoon by Praveen Giri and Dimensions Mumbai Silver Award winner is Halfway by Kumar Chheda.
Brand ambassador for popular options market – Word To Screen Sonam Kapoor presented the Book on Cinema award to Mahatma on Celluloid: A Cinematic Biography by Prakash Magdum. Word to Screen is a first-of-its-kind platform in India by Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival that offers a unique platform to writers, publishers, and filmmakers to engage and option stories for various film formats.
Jio MAMI celebrated great film personalities for their lifetime achievements, whose exceptional contributions have significantly enriched and elevated the world of cinema. The prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards were bestowed upon these luminaries as Marco Muller presented the award to Aruna Vasudev, Karan Johar presented the award to Nasreen Munni Kabir and Adoor Gopalakrishnan presented the award to Uma da Cunha.
Sobhita Dhulipala & Vidhu Vinod Chopra celebrated the winners for the Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films awards. This initiative celebrates original short films and helps aspiring young filmmakers get an opportunity to showcase their work on the large screen. The Perfect Ten competition, which is a part of the Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films, was open to films under 10 minutes made by Indian filmmakers. The Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films Best FIlm winner is Summer of Soul by Sanjib Gogoi and Best Actor winner is James Elia from the film, Vakuppu (The Clause).
JiO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival has collaborated with IMDb to set up the portrait studio for the first time in India. Talent like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Bhumi Pednekar, Sonam Kapoor, Mira Nair were seen at the IMDb portrait studio. This year the festival has also introduced IMDb Audience Choice Award, to honor the most popular title at the festival, with the winning filmmaker receiving a cash prize of 15 lacs. The opening ceremony had representation from all the festival partners including Jio, Reliance Foundation, PVR Inox, Turkish Airlines, Film AlUla, NEOM, IMDb and Royal Stag.
Anupama Chopra, Festival Director closed the opening ceremony by recognising the Young Critic Award winner Diya Mathur.
Neha Dhupia was the master of the ceremony for the evening.
The screening of the opening film The Buckingham Murders starring Kareena Kapoor Khan, Directed by Hansal Mehta, Produced by Ektaa Kapoor & Co-produced by Kareena Kapoor Khan, followed the opening ceremony with a star-studded South Asia premiere.