Vasan Bala’s Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota will be the opening film at the Mumbai Film Festival, the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images announced on Tuesday. Produced by Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP, the action comedy was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and won a people’s choice award. The screening at the Mumbai Film Festival (October 25- November 1) will mark its Asia premiere.
Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (The Man Who Feels No Pain) centres on a young man (Abhimanyu Dassani) who has a rare condition called “congenital insensitivity to pain” and sets out on a journey to rid the world of criminals. The action-comedy film marks the debut of Dassani, the son of actress Bhagyashree. It also stars Radhika Madan, Gulshan Devaiah and Mahesh Manjrekar.
Bala told news agency IANS that the screening of his film in Mumbai is “like a homecoming” for him. “I am honoured and thrilled to be walking into the cinema hall with the team of Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota and sharing the film for the first time on my home ground,” he said.
The complete list of titles to be screened at the festival was to have been announced at a press conference on Monday. However, the organisers cancelled the event in the wake of a series of allegations of sexual harassment against members of the entertainment industry, the media, and other sectors over the past few days. “We have postponed the press conference because now is not the time to focus on our line up which is what we were going to announce,” the academy said in a statement on Sunday. “There is a larger issue at play and as an Academy we will put our attention and weight behind all efforts to find concrete ways to address this deep-seated and pernicious problem.”
The Mumbai Film Festival has also dropped Rajat Kapoor’s dark comedy Kadakh, and Chintu Ka Birthday, which was produced by the comedy collective All India Bakchod. The decision was taken in the wake of allegations of harassment against Kapoor and an AIB member. A frequent collaborator of the collective was also accused of sexual misconduct and harassment.