On Friday, 30th October, ‘Dhanak (Rainbow)’ will be premiering in India at PVR Juhu, as a part of the Jio MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival with Star India. The festival has a new section called ‘Half Ticket’ which is going to showcase movies specially meant for kids and young adults. Dhanak which has won accolades in the international circuit, will open the festival in this category. The movie is written, directed by Nagesh Kukunoor and produced by Manish Mundra, Nagesh Kukunoor and Elahe Hiptoola.Dhanak is the story of siblings, aged eight and ten who traverse across Rajasthan to fulfill a promise the elder sister made to her little brother. This year, the movie was honoured at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival with The Grand Prix of the Generation KPlus. The movie premiered at the festival and also received a special mention from Kids Jury there.
When asked what he was most looking forward to at the premiere of Dhanak, writer, director and co-producer Nagesh Kukunoor said, “It’s exciting that Dhanak is opening the Half ticket section at MAMI. In its international festival journey so far, Dhanak has been shown to kids from many different countries. I’m really excited to see how Dhanak will be received by Indian kids and to see if the story resonates as strongly with them as it did elsewhere.”
Making its debut this year, Half Ticket will present an exciting slate of 25 films from across the world including fiction, non-fiction and animation. For most children this will be their first exposure to world cinema. Each screening will be followed by post screening discussions in order to nurture a future audience for independent films. 12 features and 10 shorts will compete for silver gateway awards given by the children’s jury. The Jury for Half Ticket will consist of 14 kids aged 9 to 15 years from across Mumbai, 7 of whom will judge feature filmsand 7 will judge the short films.
In addition to this, on Tuesday, 3rd November, a Film writing workshop will be conducted for aspiring school going film writers aged 12 to 15 yearsby Imtiaz Ali, Zoya Akhtar and Avinash Arun (director of Killa).
Half Ticket has been curated and organised by Monica Wahi, who has been at the helm of affairs for several prestigious children’s film festivals such as The Golden Elephant. She has also served as the ‘Creative Head’ of Children’s Film Society India (CFSI) and is the ‘Founder Director’ of South Asian Children’s Cinema Forum.
Monica Wahi, Curator, Half Ticket said “We hope we are not only able to nurture future audiences for independent films, but also nurture independent thinkers. Children and young adults are the largest audience of the country so how they choose to the see the world, becomes critical especially today with rising inequality and intolerance.”
MAMI deserves our applause and support for creating this rare and precious platform for children. And when an established filmmaker like Nagesh Kukunoor makes a film for children, we can also hope that the Indian film industry is beginning to take this audience seriously.”
Some notable films to look forward to, are:
The Boy and the World (O Menino E O Mundo) | Dir: Ale Abreu Brazil | 2013 | 80 mins
Adama | Dir: Simon Rouby France | 2015 | 82 mins.
Song of the Sea | Dir: Tomm Moore | 2014 | 93 mins.
Birds of Passage (Les oiseaux de passage) | Dir: Oliver Ringer| 2015 | 84 mins.
Celestial Camel (Nebesnyy verblyud) | Dir: Yury Feting Russia | 2015 | 90 mins.
Operation Arctic (Operasjon Arktis) | Dir: Grethe Bøe-Waal Norway | 2014 | 87 mins.
Promise (Ghol) | Dir: Mohammed Ali Talebi Iran| 2015 | 75 mins.
The early morning shows of Half Ticket are restricted to school audiences and all 36 shows have already been booked by Mumbai schools. However there are five pubic screenings open to all adult delegates including Annecy winners ‘The Boy and The World’ and ‘Adama’ and Oscar Nominee ‘Song of the Sea’, Tokyo film festival awardee ‘Birds of Passage’ and British Independent Film Awardee ‘X+Y’.
To attend the festival, viewers can register online at http://in.bookmyshow.com/mami/ or visit registration counters at the festival venues listed above.