JIO MAMI 19th MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL WITH STAR LAUNCHES THE MAMI MOVIE MANDI
The first online platform for curated Indian content.
Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival with Star launched MAMI’s new initiative – the first online platform for curated Indian content: MAMI Movie Mandi at the JW Marriott, Juhu.
One of MAMI’s core focus areas as an academy is to bolster filmmakers in India through platforms that enable conversations with the global film fraternity. As an online platform, MAMI Movie Mandi will connect Indian Filmmakers to buyers, agents, festivals across the world and increase discoverability and visibility for Indian films, thus bridging the gap between filmmaking and film sales. Film markets are platforms for revenue, recognition and discovery for independent films. MAMI decided to create this platform online to ensure that geography doesn’t come in the way of discovery of Indian films and talent.
MAMI Chairperson Kiran Rao, introduced the initiative and declared it open to the world.
The platform was in development for last one year and had a soft launch in April 2017 when the team started inviting filmmakers to experience it and create their film pitches. The platform currently hosts pitches for completed feature films seeking international distribution and festival placement opportunities. Developed with utmost focus on user-friendliness, it is a secure, completely free of cost and curated space. A filmmaker can register for free and create a film pitch for their project which will essentially include a trailer, film stills, synopsis, filmmaker’s profile, festival premiere status available, rights and territories being pitched amongst many other details. The platform currently hosts pitches of around 100 independent films from across the country vying for the attention of festival programmers and distributors.
Buyers, festival programmers from across the world have started registering on the platform and browsing through the film pitches. The platform is enabled with comprehensive and useful filters like rights available, territories available to genre and year of completion, that allow a programmer or buyer to easily sift through the pitches and narrow down the search to their area of interest. The platform comes with an in-built messaging system, that allows a buyer to connect directly with the filmmakers when they find a pitch interesting. The platform has been gaining steady interest from buyers and programmers as it allows them to get a curated overview of upcoming Indian films from their location anywhere in the world.
The evening was attended by all the programmed filmmakers of the 19th edition of the festival, who felt immensely hopeful about the future of the platform given the kind of opportunities it will create.
MAMI is focused on building the platform further to be and all-encompassing space which will host projects in various stages of completion – right from script pitches seeking producers to work-in-progress projects seeking gap-finance.
Jio MAMI with Star, Creative Director, Smriti Kiran said, “Distribution and Discoverability of content and key areas of concern for the filmmaking community. Setting the ball rolling on an entity like MAMI Movie Mandi, which is a first ever platform exclusively for curated Indian content, what we are trying to do is to get the world to discover Indian cinema beyond the 20 or 30 films that do the festival circuit or get discovered. We’ve got big plans for this platform. We want to move from finished films to works in progress, web content, manuscripts and books that people should discover from India to convert into any kind of audio-visual content. I hope, we can make a difference with this concept that we have set into motion.”
Apart from the MAMI leadership team, Chairperson Kiran Rao, Festival Director Anupama Chopra, Creative Director Smriti Kiran, some of the key guests and industry members to ring in the launch were – Filmmaker John Madden (also the Head of the International Competition Jury at the festival), Cameron Bailey (Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival), Michael Lerman (Artistic Director of the Palm Spring International film festival), Grainne Humphreys (Artistic Director – Dublin International Film Festival), Mark Adams (Artistic Director, Edinburgh Film Festival), Actor Celina Jade, Filmmaker Clio Bernard (also the Head of the India Gold Jury at the festival), Film Critic Stephanie Zacharek, Filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Neeraj Ghaywan, Film Distributor – Mehelli Modi, Actor Adil Hussain and Screenwriter Varun Grover.
The evening was a rousing success with filmmakers, talent and festival directors from around the world. The guests shared their thoughts on this initiative by MAMI.
TIFF Artistic Director, Cameron Bailey said, “India produces hundreds of films every year and dozens of films that could travel the world, if we only knew about them. This initiative at MAMI is a terrific one as it will allow people to look for films from India to find them all in one place. The hard part for a festival programmed buying for international distribution is just trying to sift through the hundreds of films and if you don’t have the contact you can’t find those films so anything that helps the international industry to find Indian cinema is a great step forward, and I am glad that MAMI is doing that.”
Film Distributor, Mehelli Modi said, “As times get more and more difficult for distribution, theatrical distribution will become harder for serious cinema. I think, this online platform which starts from helping the filmmakers to make the film to the point of distributing the film, the Mandi will become absolutely essential.”
Actress and International Competition jury member Celina Jade said, “MANDI is a great online platform to network with people from all around the world – Hollywood, Bollywood and Chinawood. I think, it’s a platform that everyone should experience.”
Director, Neeraj Ghaywan commented on how this helps filmmakers in India, “I am a filmmaker from India and I want the world to watch my films to get shortlisted for film festivals and MAMI Movie Mandi becomes a one-stop solution catering to every need of your film. This platform puts the film out there so film festivals, producers and agents from around the world can log on to your film, read the synopsis, watch the trailer and it totally kills the geographical boundaries as it doesn’t require for you to be there personally.”
Screenwriter, Varun Grover spoke about the opportunity it gives young people in India, “It’s a great initiative and it’s high time we did something like this and I am not surprised that MAMI took the initiative to do this because this is the most progressive and the most keyed-in festival in India right now. It’s a great opportunity for young people everywhere in India who want to pitch their films to producers around the world.”
Curator for the Half Ticket section at the festival Samina Mishra, “It’s a really exciting initiative because it helps one find out about the individual work that is being made otherwise it’s usually word-of-mouth. We don’t really have a real platform that exists to be able to figure out and you have to wait till a film gets done, gets a buzz or when somebody writes about it, you only come to know then.”
Actor, Adil Hussain, “I feel that it is a dawn of filmmakers, distributors and producers to come together to discover and to hunt down new films which are generally not available and which will be difficult to find and if they are really interested in looking for films which are interesting and made by young talents of India.”