The Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) has been an important part of the city’s cultural calendar for the last 15 years. But 2014 didn’t start on an optimistic note for the organisers, as the main sponsor of the festival backed out.
To salvage the situation, the team backing the festival has now decided to float a website and raise money for the event through crowdfunding.
"We need to raise Rs 5 crore for the festival to take off. We are looking at contributions of Rs 10,000 and above per person," confirms festival director Srinivasan Narayan, adding that the week-long event will take place as per schedule (October 14 to 21). The dates have already been finalised by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations, a body in charge of regulating several film festivals around the world.
On a brighter note, the event has found support from some professionals in Bollywood. Film producers Anand Mahindra and Rohit Khattar have committed Rs 60 lakh. In addition to that, film-makers Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani, producers Manish Mundra, Vivek Kajaria and Nilesh Navlakha, director Hansal Mehta and author-critic Anupama Chopra are among others who have helped raise Rs 1.5 crore for the festival.
Vidhu confirms the news, saying, "My wife, Anupama, told me that the MFF was on its deathbed. I immediately picked up the phone and spoke to Mr Narayanan, and pledged mine and Hirani’s support. This is the only film festival that the city has, and good cinema is essential to nurture our mind and our soul."