It was an emotional moment for everyone associated with MAMI’s Mumbai Film Festival, a festival that almost did not happen. The occasion was the announcement of its line up and detailed programme in a press conference held at a suburban Mumbai hotel.
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It was also the time to pass on the baton of the festival’s old guard to the new breed of passionate Indian filmmakers who have come forward to be part of the festival’s phoenix like rise. Amit Khanna, one of the trustees of the festival, made this informal announcement. Among those present were the doyens of Indian new age cinema – Kiran Rao, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, and Farhan Akhtar and the film critic Anupama Chopra. They talked about the contribution of the festival in shaping their careers and choices.
Farhan Akhtar was particularly emotional. He said that it was one of those things that one stops bothering about, taking it for granted. The fact that the Festival was at the verge of not happening was a kind of wakeup call for him. He felt that he should have been involved with it earlier and now that he had woken up he would do his best to keep the festival going in whatever way he could. He sounded genuinely apologetic and sad and one could notice some kind of a firm resolve in him to ensure MFF’s success.
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Farhan Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap have been part of the Board of Trustees of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) since the past few years and this must have been working on Farhan’s mind. MFF is organized by MAMI.
The 16th Mumbai Film Festival will take place from 14th to 21st October, 2014, at PVR Cinemas (ECX and Cinemax Versova) and Liberty (Churchgate) and will showcase bets of the world cinema in it various sections.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)