In Danger of Closing, Mumbai Festival Turns to Crowdfunding

LONDON – A social-media campaign has been launched by stars and film fans in India in an attempt to keep this year Mumbai Film Festival from closing down.

The 16th edition of the festival is scheduled to run Oct. 14-21. But, since the expiry of a five-year sponsorship deal with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment after last year’s event, the festival has struggled to move ahead.

An earlier sponsorship deal with American Express ended the previous year.

The festival needs 50 million rupees ($826,000) to stay afloat. The festival is awaiting answers from some potential sponsors and will make an official announcement about the event’s future on Monday, organizers told Variety.

Meanwhile, supporters of the festl have taken to social media and canvassed the film fraternity to pledge money toward keeping the event alive. Actor Nimrat Kaur (“The Lunchbox”) tweeted: “The only film festival in our city needs support to survive. Every muscle will count to keep this from collapsing…” Director Hansal Mehta (“CityLights”) tweeted: “Mumbai gives the Hindi film industry its highest revenues. Can’t the industry do anything to keep Mumbai’s Film Festival alive?”

The board of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), the festival’s principal backer, will this weekend meet representatives of Indian crowdfunding platforms, Variety has learned.

The Mumbai festival is one of India’s highest-profile film events and had attracted top talent, including Oliver Stone, Zhang Yimou and Jane Campion, during the period of Reliance’s backing. It offered cash prizes worth $220,000 annually.

“We see MAMI moving from solely sponsor driven to the domain of public support, becoming a sort of movement. May this movement succeed,” festival director Srinivasan Narayanan posted on Facebook.

More Film

  • Fifty Shades Freed

    'Fifty Shades Freed' to Tie Up $37 Million in Opening Weekend

    LONDON – A social-media campaign has been launched by stars and film fans in India in an attempt to keep this year Mumbai Film Festival from closing down. The 16th edition of the festival is scheduled to run Oct. 14-21. But, since the expiry of a five-year sponsorship deal with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment after last […]

  • Robert Redford Sundance 2018

    Robert Redford Says #MeToo Movement Will Give Women More Opportunities in Hollywood

    LONDON – A social-media campaign has been launched by stars and film fans in India in an attempt to keep this year Mumbai Film Festival from closing down. The 16th edition of the festival is scheduled to run Oct. 14-21. But, since the expiry of a five-year sponsorship deal with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment after last […]

  • American Animals

    First Look at Poster for Buzzy Sundance Heist Film 'American Animals' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LONDON – A social-media campaign has been launched by stars and film fans in India in an attempt to keep this year Mumbai Film Festival from closing down. The 16th edition of the festival is scheduled to run Oct. 14-21. But, since the expiry of a five-year sponsorship deal with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment after last […]

  • Indie Sales Acquires Claus Drexel’s Political

    Indie Sales Acquires Claus Drexel's Political Documentary 'America' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LONDON – A social-media campaign has been launched by stars and film fans in India in an attempt to keep this year Mumbai Film Festival from closing down. The 16th edition of the festival is scheduled to run Oct. 14-21. But, since the expiry of a five-year sponsorship deal with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment after last […]

  • Rachel Weisz Cloud One

    Rachel Weisz to Star in Sci-Fi Movie 'Cloud One' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LONDON – A social-media campaign has been launched by stars and film fans in India in an attempt to keep this year Mumbai Film Festival from closing down. The 16th edition of the festival is scheduled to run Oct. 14-21. But, since the expiry of a five-year sponsorship deal with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment after last […]

  • Agnes Varda Sets Off to New

    Agnes Varda Sets Off to New Film Journey With MK2 (EXCLUSIVE)

    LONDON – A social-media campaign has been launched by stars and film fans in India in an attempt to keep this year Mumbai Film Festival from closing down. The 16th edition of the festival is scheduled to run Oct. 14-21. But, since the expiry of a five-year sponsorship deal with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment after last […]

  • Lara Croft Defies Death in New

    Lara Croft Defies Death in New 'Tomb Raider' Trailer

    LONDON – A social-media campaign has been launched by stars and film fans in India in an attempt to keep this year Mumbai Film Festival from closing down. The 16th edition of the festival is scheduled to run Oct. 14-21. But, since the expiry of a five-year sponsorship deal with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment after last […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content