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Farewell to MAMI

Friday, October 26, 2012
Deepa Gahlot

The Mumbai Film Festival that ended yesterday set off a train of random thoughts:

Yash Chopra was a member of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, that organised the Festival, and his cheerful presence will be greatly missed. A great filmmaker and a great human being... the industry has lost its leading light.

There is a gratifyingly large number of film lovers in Mumbai and they have not allowed themselves to be bludgeoned by Bollywood.

Some films deserve, and get, a standing ovation; never mind if the director and crew are not present to witness it.

A great director like Zhang Yimou is so humble and ego free.

It is great for Anupam Kher to be getting international offers like Silver Lining Playbook, but shouldn’t he be seeking more substantial parts?

Australian film Save Your Legs, proves, if proof is necessary, that Bollywood has started seeping into the minds of non-Indian people too. They love the song and dance, but that’s no reason to be embarrassed.

Till filmmakers like Girish Kasaravalli and Jahnu Barua are able to continue making films and young directors like Anand Gandhi and Mohit Takalkar can get a foot in, maybe Indian cinema need not worry.

Ashutosh Gowarikar is a festival regular, and it would be nice to see some more filmmakers around too.

We Indians are incapable of starting any event on time and don’t care about the idiots who are punctual.

When we talk of co-productions it is only with Hollywood, but worldwide filmmakers in various countries are getting together to make films and they are keeping that community feeling alive, that commercial cinema doesn’t care about.

That festival fans in India follow films by directors from obscure countries is a good feeling; if only festival goers from other countries were that clued in about Indian cinema too. But then what is ‘Indian’ cinema? A ‘Salman Khan blockbuster’ or a quiet, reflective, realistic, regional language film.

It’s great that so many young people still dream of making films.

A seaside venue with sprawling lawns and fresh air – like the NCPA – is so much better for a festival, than crowded multiplexes.

And finally, it’s a crying shame that Mumbai, which projects itself as the centre of the Indian film industry, does not have a festival complex. 

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