After a three-year hiatus induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2023 Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival returned this year with a new curatorial team and a robust lineup of independent and art-house work from all over South Asia and beyond. One of the major international film festivals in the region, MAMI (as it is colloquially known) is a unique combination of corporate glitz and die-hard indie cinephilia. Sponsored in large part by Reliance Industries, the company owned and run by the richest family in India, and boasting major Bollywood figures on its board, the festival is nevertheless an oasis for formally and politically bold filmmaking in a cultural landscape dominated by commercial blockbusters and constrained by censorship policies.

Devika attended the festival for the first time this year, as did curator and Film Comment contributor Inney Prakash. On today’s episode, they discuss their experience in Mumbai and some of the highlights of the South Asia selection, including The World Is Family by Anand Patwardhan, Against the Tide by Sarvnik Kaur, Which Colour? by Shahrukhkhan Chavada, Touch Air and Mother, Who Will Weave Now? by Amit Dutta, Trolley Times by Gurvinder Singh, and Love in the Time of Malaria by Sanjiv Shah.

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