Mumbai Film Festival Announces New Board, Sponsors

Mumbai Festival
Film-maker Karan Johar, Mumbai Film Festival director Anupama Chopra, Reliance Foundation founder and chairperson Nita Ambani, film-maker Kiran Rao and Disney India MD Siddharth Roy Kapur

Reliance and Fox's Star India are key sponsors while board members include Disney India MD Siddharth Roy Kapur.

The Mumbai Film Festival announced its board members and sponsors for the event, which will see its 17th edition which runs this year from Oct. 29-Nov. 5.

The festival, organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI), has new sponsors in Reliance Jio Infocomm (owned by parent Reliance Industries Ltd) and Fox's Star India network.

The involvement of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, group chairman of Reliance Industries, follows his younger brother Anil's company Reliance ADAG group ending its sponsorship last year. R-ADAG's withdrawal of funding almost led to the cancelation of the festival with only a last-minute social media campaign inviting contributions from the industry and public saving the 2014 edition.

MAMI also announced the festival's new board of trustees, which include filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Farhan Akhtar, Karan Johar, Vikramaditya Motwane, actor Riteish Deshmukh, actress Deepika Padukone, producer Manish Mundra, leading business conglomerate and Mahindra Group chairman and MD Anand Mahindra, chairman of India largest cinema chain, PVR Cinemas, and MD Ajay Bijli and Disney India MD Siddharth Roy Kapur.

The festival's chairperson is filmmaker Kiran Rao (wife of Bollywood star Aamir Khan) while the festival director is film critic Anupama Chopra (wife of leading filmmaker-producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, whose latest production PK has become India's highest grossing film of all time).

In February this year, MAMI invited Toronto International Film Festival artistic director Cameron Bailey and TIFF vp production and visitor experience Natalie Lue to conduct a series of workshops in Mumbai for the MFF team.

The MFF lineup has always featured the best of international cinema, including Hollywood titles such as the Bradley Cooper-Jennifer Lawrence-starrer Serena, which opened the 2014 festival with Brad Pitt's Fury as closing film. MFF also includes a wide range of Indian films, putting the spotlight on upcoming directors such as Chaitanya Tamhane, whose acclaimed legal drama Court won best film last year.