MUMBAI: Since the launch of a social media campaign to save the Mumbai Film Festival on 28 August, the festival has raised Rs 1.5 crore of the Rs 5 crore budget required. The campaign started after media reported that the festival had been called off due to lack of funds.
The industry at large has pledged their support in ensuring the 16th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival will yet again be marked on the regions cultural and festival calendar.
Well known producer-directors Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani, producers Manish Mundra, Vivek Kajaria and Nilesh Navlakha, director Hansal Mehta and noted author and critic Anupama Chopra amongst numerous others have helped in the funding the film festival.
Speaking on these developments, festival director, Srinivasan Narayan said, “I am extremely happy and humbled with the response that we have been getting from the film industry and film lovers in the city at large. We are delighted and grateful to Cinestaan Film Company, Anand Mahindra, Rohit Khattar and Manish Mundra for their generous contribution. Also we are extremely thankful to Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Anupama Chopra, Vivek Kajaria and others for ensuring that the festival rises like a Phoenix. Today for the first time ever it truly feels that the Mumbai Film Festival belongs to the patrons and lovers of the festival. I thank each and every one of those who strive to ensure that the festival continues to present the best of World cinema to our Indian audiences”
Cinestaan Film Company, promoted by Anand Mahindra and Rohit Khattar have also stepped in with their support and has committed Rs 60 lakh for the cause.
Talking about the lack of funding in the festival, Cinestaan Film Company chairman Rohit Khattar said, “Anand (Mahindra) & 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.”
The Mumbai Film Festival is organised by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) - a trust comprised of Indian film industry stalwarts and was founded in 1997 by late filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Noted filmmaker Shyam Benegal currently heads the organisation.