Mumbai’s film lovers take heart. The city’s super smorgasboard of world cinema will take off in mid-October after all.
We’re talking of MAMI, of course. The international film festival’s never-say-die director, Srinivasan, issued a press note thanking the media, the film industry and myriad supporters of the fest, for their reaction on social networking sites and elsewhere about the unavoidable closure of the fest this year.
The Reliance group, and Tina Ambani in particular, had supported MAMI for qutie a few years of its 15-year existence. This year, alternative sponsors were sought, for the festival’s budget, amounting to approximately Rs 5 crores. The effort had come to a nought and the festival’s future seemed bleak if not impossible.
As soon as the buzz about the festival’s imminent closure spread, the city’s film industry, independent filmmakers, critics and mediapersons responded with shock.
According to insiders, a sponsor has come in with the offer of Rs 50 lakhs already while an established filmmaker has promised Rs 11 lakhs as a contribution.
The rest of the funds are expected to be raised from public funding and from the film industry itself, making MAMI the nation’s first international film festival to be backed by its film personalities.
Of course, the MAMI administration will have to work doubly hard to ensure that the festival kicks off in mid-October. And if there are glitches, which are mandatory in any such event, no issues.
We are just going to pop a bottle of bubbly and raise a toast to Srinivasan Narayanan. If it weren’t for his indefatigable spirit, we might have had no MAMI at all.
Among the highlights this year, a package of Arab cinema, is on the cards.
According to an official statement, theThe Mumbai Academy of Moving Image has found supporters in Cinestaan Film Company, promoted by Anand Mahindra and Rohit Khattar who have committed Rs.60 Lakhs.
“Anand (Mahindra) and I believe that a Festival as important as this should not belong to one sponsor or studio. As the youngest film studio, we would appeal to the larger studios, production Houses and, in fact, to all film lovers in Mumbai to take joint ownership. This is OUR Festival and even the smallest contribution would help fulfill our mission. The Mumbai Film Festival has become an integral part of our cinema heritage and as an industry we need to come together to raise it to new heights and nurture it together.,” Rohit Khattar, chairman, Cinestaan Film Company, has stated.
Producer-directors Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani, producers Manish Mundra, Vivek Kajaria and Nilesh Navlakha, director Hansal Mehta and author- critic Anupama Chopra amongst those who come forward to back the festival.
Since the campaign’s commencement on the social media on Saturday, the campaign #pledge4MAMI has raised close to Rupees 1.5 crore of the Rs 5 crore budget from these industry professionals.
To contribute, please visit http://www.mumbaifilmfest.org/pledge .
To contribute via cheque, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cheque will be collected by a festival representative. All donations to Mumbai Film Festival is covered under the 80G of the income tax act.