MAMI Select’s Theatrical Premiere of 5 iPhone Shorts Mentored by Bhardwaj, Motwane, and Sippy Receives Rave Reviews

Mumbai, April 20 2024:

MAMI Mumbai Film Festival launched a special programme ‘MAMI Select: Filmed on iPhone,’ last year during the festival, wherein a talented group of emerging filmmakers from MAMI Alumni were given the platform to reimagine traditional cinematic conventions by creating high-quality short films, shot on iPhone 15 Pro Max and edited on a MacBook Pro. Six months hence, these five shorts had an exclusive theatrical premiere that was attended by top talent from the industry such as Vishal Bhardwaj, Vikramaditya Motwane, Rohan Sippy, Shakun Batra, Radhika Apte, Shabana Azmi, Aditi Rao Hydari and fiancee Siddharth, Gul Panag, Jim Sarbh, Kabir Khan, Kiran Rao and Mouni Roy to name a few. The films are now exclusively streaming on MAMI Mumbai Film Festival Youtube channel YouTube Playlist Link

The five young filmmakers, part of MAMI Select: Filmed on iPhone, represent the new generation of Indian cinema and its changing landscape. They challenged the norms and created a new form of narrative, both in terms of storytelling as well as the making of it. Vishal Bhardwaj, who in 2023 shot his award-winning short film ‘Fursat’ on iPhone; highly acclaimed writer, director, and producer Vikramaditya Motwane; and Rohan Sippy, who is known for his stylised films, mentored the five filmmakers: Archana Atul Phadke, Faraz Ali, Prateek Vats, Saumyananda Sahi, and Saurav Rai. Under the sharp guidance of the three stalwarts of Indian cinema, these young filmmakers were encouraged to push the creative boundaries of filmmaking and build strong narratives in a new cinematic format.

Commenting on this, Anupama Chopra, Festival Director, MAMI, said, “At MAMI, our aim is to create an ecosystem that facilitates independent filmmakers by creating collaboration opportunities for new work and showcasing it to a larger audience. MAMI Select—Filmed on iPhone—is an important initiative in that direction, and we cannot wait for the world to see these films made using iPhone and edited on MacBook Pro.”

Ace filmmaker, music director, and writer Vishal Bhardwaj shared his thoughts on the films screened: “It’s exciting to be a part of the MAMI Select: Filmed on iPhone project and mentor some of the most talented next-gen filmmakers. While shooting ‘Fursat’ on my iPhone, I found it liberating to be able to change my setting or shoot canvas by simply lifting my iPhone and moving it to another angle! The idea of transforming your imagination into reality by using an iPhone is empowering a whole new generation of filmmakers, and I cannot wait for the world to see all the wonderful films that five of our filmmakers have made using an iPhone and a MacBook Pro.”

Writer and filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane echoed the sentiment and added, “The idea of art meeting technology like iPhone can truly be a game changer and make way for new formats of storytelling. These are exciting times for filmmakers, and what we have been able to achieve through MAMI Select: Filmed on iPhone programme is special. The world has changed, and so has storytelling, and it’s time for all sorts of experimental storytelling. The five filmmakers who have made films as a part of the programme have done some inspirational work, and I can’t wait for everyone to watch these films.”

Writer and filmmaker Rohan Sippy further added, “I am in absolute awe of what these five immensely talented young filmmakers have been able to create using iPhone and Macbook Pro. Each film has a different form of narrative, rooted in contemporary times. These five filmmakers have poured their hearts and souls into these stories that harness the power of iPhone to create a cinematic experience that will remain with us long after we have finished watching them.”

The following short films were screened at the special screening on April 18, 2024 in Mumbai

Mirage by Archana Atul Phadke

Logline: In order to escape his mundane existence, Ali, a 13 year old boy, finds refuge in the magic of his screen. Amidst the quiet whispers of desert sands, “Mirage” explores the unsettling echoes of virtual disconnection.

Óbur by Faraz Ali

Logline: A teenaged horse guide stumbles into chaos as he tries to recover his precious phone data from the elusive ‘cloud’ – an internet phenomenon that is both new and confusing to him and his village.

Jal Tu Jalal Tu by Prateek Vats

Logline: A senior employee’s life turns on its head after he inadvertently triggers a laughter spree amongst overworked factory workers as they race against time to complete an order.

A New Life by Saumyananda Sahi

Logline:A man leaves his pregnant wife in search of a new job in a faraway city, believing that this is what his family needs. But when he temporarily loses his eyesight in a transient ischemic attack, he comes face to face with what he really feels about becoming a father.

Crossing Borders by Saurav Rai

Logline : Three lives get entangled in catch 22 situations while they illegally enter into a country to smuggle goods for their livelihood.