December 16, 2019
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Amol Palekar

The filmmaker on whats different about the MAMI film festival

Amol Palekar
How apt are the 'parallel' and 'protest' tags for the film festival of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images?
It's unfortunate and media-created. The intention of the group was only to promote good cinematic movement.

How will it be different from other film festivals?
It's completely non-competitive, is similar to the London festival. It will also be very small, with three categories.

And these are?
World Cinema, featuring French Pathe company's 10 films and Italian films that influenced Indian film-makers; Milestones, examining landmarks in Indian cinema; and Retrospective, looking into Mumbai's century-long association with films.

Will it be Eurocentric and Mumbaicentric, despite ambitious categories.
Our exposure veers too much towards Hollywood. But contributions from China, Korea, Japan and Latin America are equally important.

Your long-term plans towards this?
Mumbai has spawned so many giants. Next we could have a retro on Sohrab Modi. There are so many major film companies from Mumbai.

You have expressed hope this will make Mumbai a major film market?
We expect that to emerge later, as the festival becomes an annual feature.

Where will the other Indian films fit in?
They will be going under the World Cinema category.

Since MAMI'S an all-friends group, how do you ensure objectivity?
All of us are veterans. Someone with the stature of Shyam Benegal is not going to select a film because it was made by his friend.

MAMI wants to keep the Centre out, yet the state government's involved?
We are not on a confrontation with the government. How can a festival happen without government support? The chief minister, cultural minister and deputy minister are panel members.

If what emerges does not match expectations?
None of us are naive. We know what is involved. This is seen as just one more step towards good cinema for all.

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