MāM Movies: Independent Filmmaking from the Heart

MaaM Movies, Mumbai

MāM Movies is all about film and all about energetic Bombay-based filmmakers; but it is not your typical Bombay dream machine. Not a single member of the MāM collective has ever shot an item number. And none has produced their first blockbuster – yet.

Instead, the dedicated young writers, directors, editors, and production technicians who call the 12-foot wide Andheri West walk-up their home-away-from-home (and frequently find themselves sleeping on its narrow roof terrace) are practicing their craft as an instrument of social change.

Launched in the summer of 2006, MāM is the brainchild (or heartchild, I suppose) of Madhusudan Agrawal and Meghna Banker, partners in life and in filmmaking, and graduates of The Academy of Art University film program in San Francisco. “The concept of MāM is finding the true heart of each individual and expressing it through the art of film,” Says Madhu. “We want to use this medium of social change. MāM means “I am”; and we look within and seek to express the values we find in our work. By telling stories in film we have the power to inspire others; but first we look to each other and find collective inspiration.”

True to their CharityFocus roots, Madhu and Meghna’s project is an all-volunteer effort. The work of MāM reflects the purity of intention and selfless dedication of the filmmakers. Whether in the pure documentary mode, or in some fresh creative manifestation, the films made by the members of MāM each display the beautifully crafted heartfelt creativity that can only be produced in an environment of unfettered freedom and technical excellence.

MāM is fresh from the success of its amazingly ambitious Genesis Film Project, in which they challenged 101 filmakkers to make 101 short films about 101 NGOs. The films screened for three consecutive days in Mumbai, to an audience of more than 200. True to the spirit of the gift economy, absolutely no admission was charged at this very special film festival, which not only highlighted the talent of independent filmmakers, young and old, but created valuable exposure for the NGOs working, often invisibly, in the communities of Mumbai.

The films of the Genesis Film Project are available online. You can also order a five DVD set of the complete festival oeuvre by writing to MāM. MāM will not charge you for the DVDs — that is just how these folks are – but I recommend making a donation that will cover the cost of postage and materials.

For that matter, I recommend making any manner of donation to help keep the collaborative vision of MāM going strong!

Madhu, with typical modesty, downplays the magic he and Meghna have created. “It is all these amazing, tireless people who come to MāM and make things happen,” he says. “All we did was create the space to allow it to happen.”

Oh, is that all?


2 Responses to “MāM Movies: Independent Filmmaking from the Heart”

  1. 1 bhavin 11 February 2008 at 11:15 pm

    want joing your group

  2. 2 Kriti Sharma 4 December 2008 at 7:00 am

    Hi! How are you doing? I wish to join your group and contribute whatever I can to this great endeavor.

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