Film Education

My Film “Mamaiji”

 ” Mamaiji ” (Grandmother)  6 min 55 seconds

poster new new


The film is as much about an archetypical grandmother as it is about the personal story of Moti (Morvarid) Nadirshah Roowalla, the director’s Mamaiji(grandmother), who was born in Iran in 1927, and now lives in India. The film is a portrait of a grandmother sans a realistic treatment, rather the film’s time and space is suspended in an artistic realm beyond the real and the unreal and therein lies it’s charm. The filmmaker does not seek a passive viewing audience but gently wants to engage the audience’s sensibilities and emotions, teasing the audience with fragments of Mamaiji’s life story, then leaving it to them to complete.

Film  screened  for the first time in Mumbai by Vikalp@Prithvi on 28th January  2013 at 7 pm.



My Audience  and Me

Mamaiji and my pic

Mamaiji and Me

 My short film “Mamaiji” will always be cherished as my first artistic exploration into cinema as an independent creative artist. I am touched with the response that the film has had with most of the audience but I can never forget the words of my fui (father’s elder sister) when she saw the film, and that will remain etched in my memory forever.

Tears rolled down from her eyes and that was her response to the film. The unsaid words in the tears spoke more than what any words can ever convey.  And then she said “the film reflects so much of what you are as a person”. And my film felt like my child who I had given birth to once again in that moment of interaction and realization.

 Last but not the least the film is dedicated to my father, who moved me to action and urged me to begin and was with me at every step. To my cousin Alzeyne Dehnugara who helped and supported me, solid as a rock, to nurture the idea and bring it to life like a second mother to a child.

The film also did generate some negative responses who felt the film was a ‘wasted opportunity’ or ‘what is the purpose of such a film’ and they have a right to hold their views but sharing with you in this post some responses that made a difference to me.

Film Reviews:

 Ashutosh Gowariker

Filmmaker : “Lagaan” – “Swades” – “Jodhaa Akhbar” ….

Congratulations Oorvazi

For making such a poignant first film !

Its is striking for its emotional quotient,

Pristine imagery and spiritual calm !!

Here’s wishing you all the success with it and MANY MORE !!

Love and Admiration


Hemant Morparia


Congratulations on such a lovely debut film !! its touching and sensitive – you have conveyed a lot in a few minutes. You touched upon religion, spirituality, family, nostalgia and made it into a seamless whole. Good editing and great music add to the experience. Its not sentimental or romantic(thankfully) but moves you all the same. Expect more stuff and longer stuff from you. The bar is now raised high.


Premendra Mazumder

Vice President – Federation of Film Societies of India, Secretary Asia – International Federation of Film Societies, India Correspondent – Cannes Critics Week, Festival Consultant, Film Critic, Author

My instant reaction – Its highly fascinating

 I have seen the film three times. Its really a very good work. Concept, presentation, cinematography, editing and sound design are excellent. But a little more introduction was needed for the main character. Anyway as a cinematic memoir, its very lyrical and absorbing. I liked it very much. Thanks a lot for sharing the same with me.


Dheeraj Akolkar

Filmmaker – “Liv and Ingmar” ….

its beautiful and your grandma is so lovely, so adorable 🙂

you have a beautiful way to depict a story – I hope u r making more films 🙂

thanks very much for sharing this one with me !


Ashvin Kumar

Filmmaker – “Little Terrorist” – “Inshallah Kashmir” ….

I enjoyed it tremendously. Its an accomplished piece of work Oorvazi, beautifully conceived and arranged.

It could have done with a bit more of editing I thought, it tended to drag in bits. I was concerned about the Daliesque image and paying cards. It felt imposed for it was somewhat out of character and perhaps felt a bit pretentious but equally I must admit I watched it v. late last night not on my toes. I really should watch it again to figure-out why you did that and what it was supposed to be about.

Positively, I was taken by the choice of settings, the choice of words spoken the meticulous attention to detail on the sets, costumes and of course the cinematography which all worked in a beautifully sparse way. Overall the effect and your choice of subject and its treatment was, I felt, quite spot-on.

Shoma Chatterji

freelance journalist, national award winning author and film critic


I saw it three times one after the next. Brilliant is all I can say. I loved the use of white you did which is quite challenging for the colour medium. I loved your grandmother’s soliloquy and the way you used the camera. Keep it up. Congrats again.


My granny lives on in the real world struggling with old age, sharing moments of tenderness and warmth along with brief moments of crankiness, both being part of human existence.


A recent Portrait of Mamaiji by me


Joy and despair take turns to show their face

Like a child …  returning to the void

My Interview conducted by Cyrus Dastur in the Parsi newspaper Jame Jamshed which includes the film review quote by Farrukh Dhondy and Adil Jussawalla

Jame Mamaiji Interview_web


These are links to related posts on my film “Mamaiji” on my blog

My film “Mamaiji” invited to be screened at NFAI/FTII June 2012


Govind Nihalani’s response to my recent short films


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