Unravel Mumbai with 'Urban Lens Film Festival'

With its previous editions held in Delhi and Bangalore, The Urban Lens Film Festival is debuting in Mumbai and will be showing the metro in a distinct new light in the form of feature films

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Mumbai is a megacity, not only in terms of its sprawling suburbs, a massive transport network but also its people. The diversity of people living here is something to look at and admire. Each and every stratum of the society form a significant part of Mumbai and exist in symbiosis with each other. However, both these societies keep their paths intact and go about their ways, oblivious to the other.

There’s a film festival coming up - Urban Lens Film Festival that highlights every level of the multitude in Mumbai and will explain what it's like to be a citizen here. Mumbai will be shown in a distinct new light in the form of documentaries, short films, and feature-length fiction films, like never before. 

Debuting for the first time in Mumbai, Urban Lens Film Festival has held its three editions before in Delhi and Bangalore.

Subasri Krishnan who heads the media lab of the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Human Settlements which is organising the festival explained how we live in Mumbai and yet are not aware of many aspects of the city. She views this festival as a chance to understand them through documentation, humour and poetry. 

The first film lined up for screening is Mira Nair’s India Cabaret, which focuses on bar dancers and Hardik Mehta’s Amdavad ma Famous, about Gujarat city’s kite festival. There’s also South African filmmaker Pablo Pineda’s Amnesty Human award-winning Noma, following a young, single mother of two as she looks for a home after being evicted from a settlement.

Avijit Mukul Kishore’s Vertical City, which focuses on slum rehabilitation in Mumbai during the 1980s echoes with a theme of displacement. Though slums were semi-legalised first, they were moved out. Thus what was intended to be a step up had made life worse for citizens. In an attempt to see what has changed, Kishore showcased the idea of genesis by scenes from a 1971 newsreel about rehabilitation cut through the scenes.

Kishore sees Urban Lens Film Festival as a great platform to watch films as there are conversations with directors, panel discussions, and exhibitions to increase the value of the event. Cities are where cosmopolitanism trumps hierarchies like caste, where you find not just employment but also home. Events happenings outside your bubble ultimately affect you too.

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