Recently, when the Mumbai Film Festival’s future seemed to be in jeopardy after its main sponsor backed out, several celebs including Siddharth Roy Kapur, R Balki, Gauri Shinde, Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, among others, came to its rescue with financial assistance.
“Hey guys, the Mumbai Film Festival ‘MIFF’ needs our help. I’m donating 11 lakhs, (sic)” Aamir had even tweeted. And now when the festival has got a new lease of life, the organisers have roped in British director Peter Webber as the head of the international jury for the festival.
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The maker of films like Girl With A Pearl Earring (2003), and Hannibal Rising (2007), Webber, will be heading the International Competition For The First Feature Films of Directors, which aims at attracting fresh talent to the festival. The competition will offer Rs 50 lakh as first prize and Rs 25 lakh as second prize.
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“Peter was the perfect choice for this competition as his films have won many awards in the past,” says festival director Srinivasan Narayan, adding, “We had to take help from our friends in London to get him on board. He loves India.”
When quizzed about the status of funds, Narayan reveals, “We still need Rs 1.45 crore to reach the Rs 5 crore mark, but we are trying our best to reach out to people.”