Homegrown Picks: 11 Films You Should Catch During The Mumbai Film Festival

Homegrown Picks: 11 Films You Should Catch During The Mumbai Film Festival

Held between the 14th and 21st of October, Mumbai will be host to yet another edition of The Mumbai Film Festival, aka MAMI. As always, this year’s festival selections are as varied as the years before – ranging from French cinema to restored classics and Russian films to a whole category dedicated to films set in or about Mumbai. Here’s a list of movies we think you should catch during the festival. Mostly because we want to! 

I. She’s Lost Control – Anja Marquardt

Set in New York City, ‘She’s Lost Control’ is the story of a sex surrogate, Ronah. Her line of work has her talking to various men - ‘clients’ - about their physical hang-ups with a disconcerting level of confidence.  We also get fleeting peaks into her dull personal life.  As the movie progresses, it becomes evident that this unorthodox lifestyle is only outwardly comfortable. Ronah’s problems start to stack up against her – fragments of her family issues, a worried brother and a mentally sick mother, concerns for her future, and a client she’s developing feelings for - all these problems set the stage for a chilling climax. An unsettling plot shown through low-lit compositions makes this movie a must-watch according to us.

Where: PVR Cinema, Citi Mall, Andheri [Screen 3]

When: October 15th @ 8.30 pm.


II. What’s the Time in Your World? - Safi Yazdanian

Goli, the protagonist of this film, is in search of her memory. She decides to return to her home country of Iran after 20 years of living in France. She lands in the town she was born in, Rasht, only to be welcomed by Farhad, a frame maker by trade. He seems to know her well however, Goli has absolutely no recollection of him. With the help of Farhad and encounters with other people on her quest, she slowly begins to regain her memory. This movie makes it on our list because Yazdanian takes the viewer on a serene journey that witnesses the gradual but deep relationship that Goli forms with Farhad.

Where: PVR Cinema, Citi Mall, Andheri [Screen 2]

When: October 18th @ 10.15 pm.


III. Buddha in a Traffic Jam – Vivek Agnihotri

This movie is loosely inspired by true life incidents set in the dark underbelly of India. The story follows Vikram, a business school student who develops an Internet campaign that eventually goes viral. This impresses one of his professors who then introduces him to the plight of the tribes in India, in hopes that Vikram would take to the web again to create another successful campaign. Vikram takes on the task without fully understanding the risks and dangers that might lie ahead.  He gets caught between two polarizing facets of India – capitalism and socialism. Buddha in a Traffic Jam forces the youth to acknowledge and question a few fundamental things we have been conditioned to accept.

Where: PVR Cinema, Citi Mall, Andheri [Screen 2]

When: October 17th @ 12.15 pm.

IV. Labour of Love (Asha Jaoar Majhe) - Aditya Vikram Sengupta

‘Labour of Love’ is proof that a film devoid of dialogue and made on a small budget is just as worthy of representing on an international platform as any other. It was nominated for not one but three awards at the prestigious Venice Film Festival. The film follows the trajectory of the two leads, who are married to each other but only in a fantasy sequence. Along with music and expressions, love is communicated through the most mundane things, like cooking a meal for two. The film is primarily set and shot in Kolkata.

Where: Chandan Cinema
When: October 17th, 10:00 a.m. 


 V. Schimbare – Alex Sampayo

Schimbare is a fast paced film following the story of two individuals – Luis and Elvira - in contact with an East European criminal organization. On their trip to Romania, they receive a call and are told to change their route in order to make a collection in Budapest. The “collection” turns out to be an eight-year-old girl. Stuck in a catch-22 situation, they are forced to make a decision that will inevitably get one of the two parties killed.  Watch this film to see how the story unfolds as the two leads face a darker and deeper moral dilemma than they can handle.

Where: PVR Cinema, Citi Mall, Andheri [Screen 1]

When: October 16th @ 12 pm.


 VI. In The Courtyard (Dans La Cour) - Pierre Salvadora

Set in Paris, ‘In the Courtyard’ tells the story of a solitary drunkard who finds a job as a concierge in a run down Parisian apartment building and an old retired woman, residing in the same building, who fears she’s losing her sanity. Occasionally hilarious, the hero of the film is still the strong emotional undercurrent in the co-dependent relationship that develops between the two highly endearing and perfectly flawed lead characters.

Where: Chandan Cinema

When: October 17th @ 1o am.


 VII. The Blue Room (La Chambre Bleue) - Mathieu Amalric 

The Blue Room, adapted from a George Simenon novel, is a story about adultery and crime told in a non-linear fashion. The film is essentially, unrelated fragments put together brilliantly to depict a pulse-quickening story. Julien and Esther knew each other when they were younger but are now married to two other people. It is primarily set in a hotel room, which is where the two leads meet secretly, and in another less inviting room where the man is being questioned for murder.

Where: PVR Cinema, Citi Mall, Andheri [Screen 4]

When: October 21st @10.15 am.


VIII. Saint Laurent - Bertrand Bonello

Here’s a little fashion for good measure. Yves Saint Laurent died in 2008. In 2010, ‘L’Amour Fou’, a film about the designer’s history with his once-lover and long-term business partner Pierre Bergé was released. In January of 2014, a biography drama film based on his life, Yves Saint Laurent’ directed by Jalil Lespert came out. As far as biopics on designers go, this is YSL’s moment. ‘Saint Laurent’ directed by Bertrand Bonello is an unauthorized biopic that debuted at Cannes Film Festival. The film dives head first into the era in which YSL was already obscenely famous. The film traverses his atelier, his fondness towards nightlife, his pill-popping binges and his high rolling lifestyle.

Where: PVR Cinema, Citi Mall, Andheri [Screen 4]

When: October 20th @ 12.15 pm.


IX. It Happened One Night – Frank Capra

Set in the Depression Era, this movie tells the story of an unlikely romantic pairing – a rough around the edges-recently fired-newspaper man and a highbrow heiress. It is the story of love conquering socio-economic differences, class conflicts and witty banter. It Happened One Night has transcended generations and is still considered to be one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time. Predominantly a road trip movie, it is jam packed with iconic scenes such as the hitchhiking scene that has been adapted into several renditions in contemporary cinema.

Where: PVR Cinema, Citi Mall, Andheri [Screen 3]

When: October 16th @ 3.30 pm.


 X. Mission Rape - A Tool of War - Annette Mari olsen, Katia Forbert Petersen

In India, we are exposed to horror stories about rape and sexual abuse almost on the daily. This documentary takes a disturbing, yet familiar concept and sets it in a realm that is difficult for an average person to come to terms with. This film tackles the sensitive subject of rape used as a tool of war in the Balkan War in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995. Close to 40,000 women were raped during the war and left with not a sliver of a hope for justice. 20 years on, organized mass rape continues to be used as a strategy of war. The documentary is built around seven chapters, each telling a separate true-life story from the War.

Where: PVR Cinema, Citi Mall, Andheri [Screen 1]

When: October 17th @ 10 am.


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