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Fourteen years of Mumbai Film Festival

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SummarySustaining MAMI without government backing is commendable

MAMI is the only festival which is now focussing on encouraging debut film ventures. That is a rare phenomena because normally, we tend to run after the stars - whether they are film technicians or film actors

Amol Palekar,Trustee, MAMI

Mumbai is one of the major film cities in India where films are a passion, they are made and debated upon. Yet, this city did not have an international film festival that could be included in its cultural profile. This was one of the reasons why Mumbai Film Festival organised by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) was conceived. Moreover, be it anywhere in the world, a festival is always associated with the name of the city. For instance, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) or Moscow International Film Festival. MAMI is the only international film festival in our city that filled this void.

In our country, all the international film festivals are funded and therefore, organised by the government be it State or the Central government. For instance, International Film Festival of India (IFFI) that is held inGoa is backed by the Central government. What sets MAMI apart is the fact that it is the first international film festival neither funded nor organised by the government. As opposed to that, it is organised and handled completely by film professionals. To sustain MAMI for fourteen years without any kind of government backing is no trivial achievement. Secondly, MAMI is the only festival which is now focussing on encouraging debut film ventures. That is a rare phenomena because normally, we tend to run after the stars whether they are film technicians or film actors. MAMI gives an avenue to new film-makers and that is a significant factor as far as this International film festival is concerned. In just a few more years, MAMI will become a major focus point for every new film-maker around the world to come here and showcase his debut directorial venture. This year, the entire competition section is between the debutant directors which is great at the international level. For a newcomer, to get such a platform is very noteworthy and as a founder trustee, I find this extremely gratifying.

As told to Krutika Behrawala

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