Movie buffs in Mumbai can heave a sigh of relief, as the 16th Mumbai Academy of Moving Image Festival, also known in popular parlance as MAMI is being revived. The film festival which was on the verge of closure due to a lack of sponsorship, has been revived with the help of social media campaigning and support of the film industry. French actress Catherine Deneuve, directors Richard Linklater, Atom Egoyan and Kim Ki Duk were on the list of special invitees at MAMI that was slated to be held from October 14 to 21.
However, after Reliance Group pulled the plug, the future of MAMI seemed bleak, since the festival’s budget amounted to approximately `5 crore. As soon as news about the festival’s imminent closure spread, the film industry, independent film-makers, and cinephiles reacted with shock. MAMI festival director, Srinivasan Narayan has however confirmed that Cinestaan Film Company, promoted by Anand Mahindra and Rohit Khattar have committed Rs.60 lakh and Rs.1.5 crore has already been raised through the social media campaign. While Shyam Benegal and Shabana Azmi are the only MAMI board members who are active in films, at the time of releasing this information to the press, it was not confirmed whether the board members of Film Festival would be retained.
“I am delighted that we can look forward to the festival again. The response that we have been getting from the film industry and film lovers in the city has been overwhelming. Our supporters include Cinestaan Film Company, Anand Mahindra, Rohit Khattar and Manish Mundra, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Anupama Chopra, Vivek Kajaria and others and they have ensured that the festival rises like a Phoenix.” said Narayan. The venue, however still remains undecided. Earlier they were to be screened at the Big Cinema Metro and Liberty in South Mumbai, and PVR multiplex in Andheri.
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