The growth of cinema world over has been deeply influenced by different forms of urbanization. The festival hopes to excavate aspects of this symbiotic relationship with select films from over 2000 entries from 105 countries, along with invited films and to generate a new meaning of the role cinema plays in shaping our understanding of urban issues.
Caferati hosts of the city's longest running open-mic, opened the festival, with a poetry session - Poems on the City featuring Jane Bhandari, Menka Shivdasani, Arjun Bali, Raamesh Gowri Raghavan and Batul Mukhtiar. This was be followed by the Mumbai premier of Squeeze Lime in Your Eye by Avijit Mukul Kishore. The film follows visual artist Kaushik Mukhopadhyay in his workspace, home, art gallery and the university where he teaches. Mukhopadhyay is known for his work using discarded objects and household items giving them new life in quirky sculptures.
On Saturday, we had film screenings all day interspersed with conversations with filmmakers and more. Highlights included a keynote - The City and the Creative Economy delivered by Aromar Revi, Director of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and a panel discussion called Mapping the City. The panel featured Anica Mann-Kapur from Global Xplorer (Global Xplorer uses satellite mapping to make archaeological data accessible to all and to create a network of citizen explorers), Jasmine Lovely George, Founder of Hidden Pockets (a multimedia feminist project mapping out where women and trans people can access the sexual health resources and services they need) and Founder of Photography Promotion Trust, Sudharak Olwe, who has travelled the country photographing stories of change and resilience in rural and urban communities and will be moderated by Lab head, Parmesh Shahani.
The festival also showcased the following exhibits:
- Mumbai - Above and Below - This two part photography exhibit featured the work of Johnny Miller and Sudharak Olwe, both of whose photo series look at inequality in Mumbai from below the surface of the city and from above it. Johnny Miller’s Unequal Scenes (courtesy TARQ) offers aerial shots of Mumbai that highlight the stark economic disparity of the city. While in Sudharak Olwe’s In Search of Dignity and Justice, the veteran photojournalist has captured the inhuman working conditions of conservancy workers who clean the streets and sewers of Mumbai.
- Bambaiyya VR is a heritage project that educates you about the communities that built the city – the Kolis, the Parsis and the mill workers – through an immersive virtual reality experience.
- Love in the City was an exhibit by the students of the Photography Promotion Trust showcasing moments of affection in Mumbai.
- Memories of Mumbai by GPL Design Studio was a participative map where viewers are encouraged to share their fondest memories in Mumbai.
Special thanks to Tarq, Chatterjee and Lal, British Council and Prince Claus Fund.