Actor, producer and author, Priyanka Chopra Jonas has been appointed chairperson of the Mumbai Film Festival, which will take on a new format without a competitive international section.

For the second year running, the festival (aka Jio MAMI) will not go ahead in its normal October slot due to the coronavirus outbreak. It will be replaced with a six-month long series of events.

“Each section and vertical has been assessed with the lens of what creates value in the current scenario and what doesn’t. This includes creating more awards and grants for Indian films and filmmakers and letting go of the international competition section,” said the festival.

Over the six months from Oct. 2021-March 2022, Jio MAMI will focus on conversations with some of the best talent in India and abroad. It will screen Indian films that have not received an opportunity to be showcased because the festival did not take place last year.

The digital verticals of Jio MAMI launched in 2020 Dial M For Films, Storytellers Are Us: The Origin Story, Jio MAMI Industry Program, Rashid Irani Young Critics Lab and the MAMI Year Round Program Home Theatre are expected to create stellar programming for a national audience.

“I’ve hit the road running… with ideas, thoughts and plans on reimagining the festival to find its rightful place in a world that has changed so much in such a short time. We’re all consuming film and entertainment very differently now and in the process, we’ve expanded the footprint of the cinema that we watch,” said Chopra Jonas in a prepared statement.

“Jio MAMI is now going to pan out from October 2021 to March 2022. From October onwards until January, under the year-round program, apart from Dial M For Films it will hold select digital screenings and masterclasses featuring talent from all over the world. The hybrid edition of the festival will take place in March depending on how the COVID-19 situation is in India,” the festival said. The tentative dates of the festival are March 11-15, 2022.

“The new course for Jio MAMI strengthens what we collectively feel should be our focus,” said Smriti Kiran, the festival’s artistic director.