The crème de la crème of Bollywood came together for the inaugural ceremony of the 17th Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) Film Festival on Thursday evening, but Amitabh Bachchan was conspicuous by his absence. The festival organisers, we hear, had even reserved a seat for the veteran star, who had earlier shot a special video for MAMI.
Amitabh Bachchan. Pic/Sameer Markande
A source says, “Mr Bachchan was supposed to be seated in the front row next to Mukesh and Nita Ambani. But, he did not turn up and we heard he was at another event. However, Abhishek Bachchan made up for his absence; he was given the seat that was reserved for Mr Bachchan.”
Sources close to the star clarify that though he was approached, he had not confirmed his participation for the event. “He had committed himself to a brand launch on the same day,” adds a source.
Anupama Chopra, festival director, says Sr Bachchan had been “extremely supportive” of the film gala and adds, “He could not attend the opening ceremony as he had a tight schedule. But, he has always been supportive and encouraging about the festival.”
In pictures: Star-studded opening ceremony of the MAMI Film Festival
Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, Hrithik Roshan, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other prominent personalities walked the red carpet at the opening ceremony of the 17th MAMI Mumbai Film Festival (View photos)