Mumbai (India), November 04, 2023: The IMDb Audience Choice Award at the Jio MAMI (Mumbai Academy of Moving Images) Mumbai Film Festival 2023 was presented to The Monk and the Gun by Pawo Choyning Dorji by Anupama Chopra, Festival Director and Yaminie Patodia, head of IMDb India, at the festival’s closing ceremony. The award honoured the most popular film at the festival, as determined by festival attendees, and was given a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh.
IMDb celebrates global films, talent, and filmmakers, helping audiences discover and decide what to watch. To determine the winner of the IMDb Audience Choice Award, festival attendees voted for their favourite film across the eight-day festival on the Jio MAMI app.
Commenting on the award & the winning film, Anupama Chopra, Festival Director, Jio MAMI said, “IMDb is an invaluable resource for film journalists, cinephiles and anyone connected to the world of cinema, the world over. So it gives us great pleasure to present the IMDb Audience Choice Award at Jio MAMI 2023. This award, and the work that IMDb does, align with our mission of offering a platform to emerging filmmakers and highlighting the role of audiences in empowering filmmakers. This film has the perfect blend of craft, purpose, and faith in its audience, creating a world that is both richly cinematic and steadfastly realistic and is certainly a clear winner with our viewers!”
Pawo Choyning Dorji, director of ‘The Monk and the Gun’, on winning the award said, “As a filmmaker, I always ask what is cinema without an audience. The audience is the cinema, and the cinema is the audience. Without the support and recognition of the audience there will be no inspiration for us filmmakers to create stories. The audience prize has always meant so much to me, and the IMDb Audience Choice Award for Jio Mami means even more to me because it is from an Indian audience. I have had the honour of travelling the world to show my films, and I can say with total confidence that the Indian audience are the most passionate ones! As a Bhutanese filmmaker, India has always meant too much to me. Thank you so much! ”
IMDb also hosted its first-ever exclusive portrait and video studio in India at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, expanding their on-the-ground presence at leading festivals around the world. Interviews and photos from the studio provided entertainment fans around the world with a virtual front-row seat to all the latest news, titles and stars from the festival. Celebrities, filmmakers, and industry VIPs including Kareena Kapoor Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Rajkummar Rao, Aditi Rao Hydari, Bhumi Pednekar, Sanya Malhotra, Vijay Varma, Rohit Saraf, Dia Mirza, Arjun Rampal, and Sobhita Dhulipala visited the studio. Portraits can be viewed here.
Congratulating the winner, Yaminie Patodia, Head of IMDb India, added, “IMDb is proud to present the IMDb Audience Choice Award to The Monk and the Gun, as part of our effort to support the vibrant creative community that gathers at this incredible festival each year. IMDb is committed to celebrating storytellers and their creativity for our hundreds of millions of fans, and we were thrilled to honour this year’s winner.”
The most prestigious South Asian Film Festival, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, returned for an in person edition after three years, spanning across 8 venues across Mumbai, with screenings and other events between October 27 and November 5, 2023, to create a thoughtful and empathetic community of cinephiles from India and beyond.
About the film (The Monk and the Gun by Pawo Choyning Dorji) :
Kingdom of Bhutan, 2006. Modernisation has finally arrived. It is the last country in the world to connect to the internet and television, and now the biggest change of all awaits: democracy. To teach people how to vote, the authorities organise a mock election, but the locals appear unconvinced. Travelling to rural Bhutan, where religion is more popular than politics, the election supervisor discovers that a monk is planning a mysterious ceremony for election day.
About Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), has brought the best of contemporary world cinema and talent to the city of Mumbai since 1997. With its new expanded vision to spotlight South Asian and South Asian diaspora filmmakers, Jio MAMI becomes the Hub for South Asia, discovering and connecting emerging talent to the worldwide festival ecosystem.
Along with celebrating cinematic excellence and bringing joy to our audiences, we aim to facilitate the exchange of ideas and provide easy access to information related to filmmaking, funding, film distribution, business opportunities, and strategic marketing support for films and filmmakers. The festival also conducts a robust Year Round Programme that acts as a hub for creators and cinephiles through screenings, networking opportunities, access to labs and workshops for skill development, masterclasses, and, very importantly, creating a community of cinema lovers.
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