News is that ever since the reports of the annual Mumbai Film Festivals’ possibly being called off due to lack of sponsors and funds, the social media campaign to save the festival has gained tremendous momentum. In fact Mumbai Film Fest (MFF) organizers have managed to raise Rs.1.5 crore of the Rs.5 crore budget, which has helped them garner support of filmmakers including Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra.
The Mumbai Film Festival is organized by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI). It was founded in 1997 by late filmmaker Shri Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Noted filmmaker Shri Shyam Benegal heads the body that consists of film directors including veteran film maker Ramesh Sippy, director Sudhir Mishra, young directors Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Umesh Kulkarni, Kiran Rao, Vikramaditya Motwane and Farhan Akhtar, publisher Navin Berry and producer-director-lyricist Amit Khanna.
After the donation campaign started online, many industry stalwarts like Manish Mundra, Vivek Kajaria, Nilesh Navlakha, Hansal Mehta and Anupama Chopra, among numerous others too turned guardian angels for the festival. Thanking the supporters director Srinivasan Narayan said in a statement, “I’m extremely happy and humbled with the response that we have been getting from the film industry and film lovers in the city at large. Today, for the first time ever it truly feels that MFF 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.” It’s noted that with the end of a five-year-long partnership with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment, the MAMI organizers have been on the lookout for a title sponsor and additional funds.