Mumbai film fest hit by fund crunch; Bollywood promises assistance

Written by PTI | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 3 2014, 06:12am hrs
The 16th edition of Mumbai Film Festival is facing financial trouble but the organisers have expressed confidence that they will ride through the crisis with support from movie industry and other cinephiles.

The campaign to save the festival, organised by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), has gained momentum on the social networking sites. The organisers of the festival, which is scheduled to take place from October 14 to 21, have also appealed to cinema lovers for help.

Support has come forth from Cinestaan Film Company, promoted by Anand Mahindra and Rohit Khattar, producer Manish Mundra, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani and Hansal Mehta.

Since the campaign started on Saturday, the festival has managed to collect R1.5 crore out of the R5 crore needed to organised the movie extravaganza that has been an important event in the city's cultural calendar.

Every crisis makes you stronger and presents a bigger opportunity. We are trying to go through this crisis and emerge stronger. The required amount is not collected yet. We will take a final decision on Monday. We have to collect at least R4.5 crore to see the festival through otherwise we will have to do some on-course correction, festival director Srinivasan Narayan told PTI.

When asked whether the film industry was stepping in to help, Narayan said more and more people were coming forward to help in whatever way they can.

Anurag Kashyap sent a message that he will contribute once he comes from America. The support has been growing.

Actually, now the film industry is taking the ownership of the festival. They were only participants earlier. Now they are going to be involved in a big way. The content will always remain independent. We will see more footfalls from the industry, he said.

The festival's five-year partnership with Reliance Entertainment ended last year.

So far, Cinestaan Film Company has come forward with R60 lakh.

Anand (Mahindra) and I believe that a festival as important as this should not belong to one sponsor or studio, said Khattar while making an appeal to the industry to step in.