With its main sponsor pulling out citing lack of profit, the 16th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival seemed to be in jeopardy. Reports said that the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI), that organises the fest, needs around R5 crore to keep the event afloat. The latest development is that a sizeable number of filmmakers and film lovers have stepped forward to ensure that the festival takes place. Shyam Benegal, trustee, MAMI, says, “We are keeping our fingers crossed. There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.’’
Hansal Mehta and Rajkumar Hirani
Srinivasan Narayanan, festival director, says, “We have collected about R1.5 crore in two days. Cinestaan Film Company, promoted by Anand Mahindra and Rohit Khattar, as also filmmakers such as Manish Mundra, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Hansal Mehta and Rajkumar Hirani have come forward to support the festival.’’
He adds, “For the first time ever, it truly feels that the Mumbai Film Festival belongs to its patrons and lovers. I thank each and every one of those who have strived to ensure that the festival continues to present the best of world cinema to our Indian audiences.”
It may be pointed out that MAMI is still looking at raising revenue through crowdfunding. “It’s not crowdfunding as such, but we will open a contributors’ section on our website so that people can pledge support to the fest.’’
The fest gets around R10 lakh from the Maharashtra government. It is slated to start on October 14 and entries from across the world have been called. Some of the theatres where films will be screened as part of the fest include Liberty Cinema, Metro Big Cinema and PVR ECX at Andheri.