DEEPIKA PADUKONE AND ISHA AMBANI INAUGURATED
The star-studded evening was graced by the biggest names from the Indian and International Film Industry
Renowned for being India’s leading festival for filmmakers and cinephiles alike, the Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival with Star held its opening ceremony at one of Mumbai’s oldest and largest indoor theatres, the Bal Gandharva Rangmandir.
The ceremony marked the beginning of the 21st edition of one of the most beloved cinematic events in the city, the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star. Deepika Padukone took the stage for the very first time to deliver the keynote address as Festival Chairperson. Board of Trustees, MAMI, and Director, Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail Isha Ambani welcomed the audience while also announcing new initiatives.
The glitzy affair hosted by the elegant and lucid actor and author Soha Ali Khan saw celebrated names from the Indian film industry including Kiran Rao, Vishal Bhardwaj, Rohan Sippy, Karan Johar, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anupama Chopra, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Taapsee Pannu, Kalki Koechlin, Nivin Pauly, Kabir Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Tillotama Shome, Genelia Deshmukh, Vinay Pathak, Vijay Verma, Geetu Mohandas and Nivin Pauly in attendance amongst others.
The evening also witnessed a strong presence by the international filmmaking industry with personalities such as Hany Abu-Assad, Franklin Leonard, Ari Aster, Efe Cakerel, Julie Huntsinger, Mark Adams, Col Needham, Christian Jeune and Grainne Humphreys gracing the ceremony, kickstarting the annual movie feast.
With the industry in attendance, the academy celebrated talent who continue to define and shape the filmmaking community today. A talent par excellence, Indian actress, director, painter and photographer Deepti Naval was presented the Excellence in Cinema Award by Director Vishal Bhardwaj and Festival Chairperson Deepika Padukone for her exemplary contribution to the Indian film industry.
In her welcome address Isha Ambani, Board of Trustees, MAMI, and Director, Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail said, “This is the fifth year of Jio’s association with MAMI. It has been fulfilling to nurture and grow a platform that has turned into a global event. Just like the festival, our ambition and vision for it broaden every year. Our commitment is resolute to building this platform and consistently pushing cinema as an agent of change, conversation, and creative expression.”
“Star India is known for its engaging content that inspires a billion imaginations, and we are delighted to associate with the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star to celebrate the power of stories. MAMI has become an integral part of the film industry, showcasing best of world cinema and we look forward to the exciting line-up this year,” said Sanjay Gupta, Country Manager, Star, and Disney India.
Deepika Padukone, who took the stage for the first time as Festival Chairperson in her keynote address said, “Many of you are probably wondering why I am here, and that the role of a chairperson is for someone older, wiser. Many others believe that I am too young, mainstream and too tall and now look at what I am wearing. But I am here for two reasons, learn and give back to a community that has given me so much, my identity to begin with. And so, in my new role as chairperson, I am committed to helpinging the academy achieve its vision and for every mistake, I make along the way, consider that my learning. Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star binds us without boundaries, inhibitions, and most importantly without fear. As an artist, who truly believes in the power of cinema I say we need this now more than ever before.”
The festival now opens at different venues across the city. Apart from screening exceptional films, the festival has exciting masterclasses and sessions in store. With over 190 films from 54 countries across 49 languages including features, documentaries and short films will be screened this year.