Sarvnik Kaur’s documentary Against The Tide won the Golden Gateway Award at this year’s Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, while the Silver Gateway Award went to Bahadur – The Brave, directed by Diwa Shah. The Special Jury Award went to Kanu Behl’s Agra.
Against The Tide follows two fishermen struggling to provide for their families as the sea turns hostile due to climate change. Bahadur – The Brave revolves around Nepalese migrant laborers during the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic in India.
Agra, which had its world premiere at this year’s Cannes film festival, is the story of young Indian man attempting to navigate cramped living conditions, sexual repression and a dysfunctional family to create his own space in the world.
The South Asia Competition jury was headed by Mira Nair and also included Australian filmmaker David Michod, Filipino filmmaker and actor Isabel Sandoval and French critic and festival director Edouard Waintrop.
Among other juries at the festival, the Film Critics Guild Gender Sensitivity Award was presented to A House Named Shahana (Barir Naam Shahana), directed by Leesa Gazi.
The Rashid Irani Young Critics’ Choice Award went to Shahrukhkhan Chavada’s Which Colour? (Kayo Kayo Colour?), while the NETPAC award was presented to Rapture, directed by Dominic Sangma, which picked up the Cultural Diversity Award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards on the same evening.
Civic Studios’ Light Camera Impact Award, recognising two non-feature films focusing on subjects of climate, sexuality and caste, went to Blackhole, directed by Pradyumna Patil, and Consecration (Praan Pratishthana) from Pankaj Sonawane. Flowering Man by Soumyajit Ghosh Dastidar received a special mention in this category.
The IMDb Audience Choice Award went to The Monk And The Gun, directed by Bhutanese filmmaker Pawo Choyning Dorji.
While the awards ceremony took place at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) on November 3 evening, the festival will continue with screenings until November 5. Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla played as the closing film on November. 3
The festival faced some operational difficulties in its first edition returning as an in-person event after the pandemic, with issues around the online ticketing system and a shortage of suitable hotel rooms for international guests. Not helping matters was the fact that some of the Cricket World Cup matches were taking place in Mumbai at the same time.
But both international guests and local audience praised the programming, which expanded its focus from Indian to South Asian cinema this year, and also presented a strong line-up of recent international festival films.