Filmmakers can't let MAMI become a mummy
The film industry is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing and richest industries in the country. It is here that the filmmakers’ and the stars’ egos get massaged only when their films make at least Rs 100 crore or Rs 200 crore. Corporate firms and star filmmakers don’t think twice before pumping in large amounts of money not only in the making of a film, but also in its publicity.
Year after year, the publicity budget of films is being raised, because everyone is well aware that the more in-your-face the film is, the larger number of people will watch it on the first day and, thus, propel a filmmaker into the Rs 100 crore club in the opening weekend itself.
However, in the process, the bigwigs and the loaded parties of the industry seem to have become more and more selfish, egoistic and have obviously stopped giving a hoot to the qualitative growth of the industry. Thanks to the big filmmakers hogging most of the screens to ensure a smashing opening weekend, smaller films are struggling to see the light of day. And then, the bigger shock came recently when the much celebrated Mumbai Film Festival was said to be struggling to get financial support of a mere Rs 5 crore to survive. This, after a conglomerate that had magnanimously spent the money to keep the festival alive, decided to withdraw its support. MFF (also known as MAMI), which has completed 16 years, has successfully showcased some of the best of world cinema and is keenly looked forward to by discerning film lovers of the city and country. Despite this, the Maharashtra government offered a mere Rs 10 lakh to keep it alive.
It is shameful that such a prestigious festival now has to resort to public funding to collect a sum which is much lesser than the promotional budget of big movies hitting theatres almost every week. An industry that is so tunnel-visioned about it’s growth and so focused on money-making and ego-boosting, can spiral downwards in terms of quality But looks like it will be a while before the power-blinded filmmakers wake up to that truth.