It has emerged that Reliance Entertainment will not be sponsoring the 16th edition of Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) that is going to be held later this year. Filmmaker Shyam Benegal, the chairman of Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI), which organises MIFF, tells hitlist, “We had a five-year contract with Reliance which ended last year. Accordingly, we will have new sponsors this year. Unlike earlier when Reliance wanted to be the only sponsor, this time, we will have multiple sponsors who will come on board.”
Filmmaker Shyam Benegal
MAMI was started in 1997 by a group of film personalities headed by the late Hrishikesh Mukherjee. It aimed at organising an annual international film festival that would bring together good cinema from across the country and the world — all under one roof.
It may be pointed out that over the last few years, this fest has attracted a wide variety of films, including those that have done the rounds of the Berlin, Cannes, Sundance, and Toronto film festivals.
Some of the international film personalities who have attended this festival include Na Hong-jin, director of the film, The Chaser; Paul Schrader, writer of the film, Taxi Driver; filmmaker Oliver Stone and Costa Gavras, director of the film, Z.
Speaking about their exit, Sanjeev Lamba of Reliance Big Entertainment says, “Our main aim was to put the fest on the international map. And during our five-year contract, we have done just that. Now it for those who come on board to take it further; Amit Khanna, who has been involved with the festival right from the beginning, will continue to work with the organisers.”