The Fab Mauritius Cinema Week!

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The impressive Mauritius Cinema Week held from October 5-8 2017 in Mauritius was indeed fab. Sumita Chakraborty who travelled to Mauritius for the event, gives the highlights of this amazing event.

Glitz, glam and glory… In sync with the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the independence of Mauritius, Mauritius Cinema Week was organised with the theme of East Meets West to showcase international films on freedom and independence, and felicitate outstanding actors.

The opening ceremony of the East Meets West fest was held at the majestic Chateau de Labourdonnais at Mapu and it was indeed a starry evening. The Mauritius crème de la crème rubbed shoulders with the celebs including the beautiful French actor Emmanuelle Béart, Bahubali director SS Rajamouli and producer Shobhu Yarlagadda, Justin Chadwick, Guy Hibbert and British writer-director, the gorgeous Amma Assante.

The opening ceremony of the East Meets West was kick-started by the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Nandcoomar Bodha. He averred, “The Festival has laid the foundation for a new era for the country’s film industry. It also served as the ideal platform for Mauritius to be inspired from the Western and Eastern film industry.”

The Minister of Arts and Culture, Prithvirajsing Roopun also said that the event was like a premiere in Mauritius where Mauritians got the chance to experience projection of films in the presence of renowned celebrities. He also said that Mauritius had become the crossroads of Hollywood meeting Bollywood which would influence the shaping of new trends in film art and gave a new impetus to the development of cinema on the island. …And the Mauritius Cinema Week was officially open!

The event was graced by the presence of 20 high-profile guests from Bollywood, Tollywood, Hollywood, France, the United Kingdom, and South Africa.

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Master Classes

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Mauritius Cinema Week were the master classes helmed by some of the stalwarts from the global film world. The first Master Class was with the eminent writer of the Hollywood film Serenity, Guy Hibbert who spoke at lengths on the topic of Write Your Own Story – The Art and Craft of Script Writing. The next master class was conducted by the Bāhubali director S S Rajamouli and Amma Asante on the topic of   Light, Camera, Action – The Magic of Film Directing. Of course, the crowd puller was the master class helmed by Bollywood’s finest actor Rani Mukerji titled The Evolution of the Role – Actresses’ roles in modern Indian cinema,

On The Big Screen

The Mauritius Cinema Week also showcased some wonderful films, both old and new, from around the world that championed the cause of freedom and independence. Films like Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti, Rani Mukerji’s Black, SS Rajamouli’s Bāhubali, Amma Asante’s United Kingdom amongst others were heralded and spoken about highly. Some 24 films were screened in various locations in the island and a capacity of 10,000 seats was offered to the public free of charge.

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The Outstanding Cinema Award Ceremony

The next leg of the Cinema Week was indeed the biggest and the best. At an exclusive event held at the esteemed Trianon Convention Centre, the island saw one of the biggest events of the Cinema Week. Helmed by the Master of Ceremony Kabir Bedi, two outstanding awards were given to two outstanding actors of the world – Emmanuelle Beart and Rani Mukerji. Presented by the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, the awards were handed over to the two ladies amidst thunderous applause. Rani Mukerji who was visibly moved averred, “This is the first award I’m receiving before my daughter Adira, and I’m thrilled to receive this along with Emmanuelle Beart  who my husband is a big fan of.”

Around 2,500 guests attended the Cinema Award Ceremony, and the event which was followed by the cultural programme had it all – fun, frolic and films. Celebs like Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, Suresh Oberoi, Sanjay Khan, SS Rajamouli, Amma Asante and others also graced the event. Incidentally, they were pretty pleased that Stardust too was present at the occasion.

But like all good things come to an end, the Mauritius Cinema Week too closed at the amazing historical ruins of Balaclava with a brief speech by the honourable minister Bodha, followed by a wonderful dinner and amazing fireworks.

Indeed, the Mauritius Cinema Week was a resounding success.

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