The Mumbai Film Festival, organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, has cancelled a scheduled press conference on Monday. The line-up of the annual festival was to have been revealed at the press donference. According to a statement issued by festival director Anupama Chopra, “The Mumbai Film Festival is fully supportive of the #MeToo movement. We have postponed the press conference because now is not the time to focus on our line up which is what we were going to announce. There is a larger issue at play and as an Academy we will put our attention and weight behind all efforts to find concrete ways to address this deep-seated and pernicious problem.”
The press conference for the twentieth edition is scheduled to be held later in the month. The festival dates are October 25 to November 1.
Apart from Chopra, the festival has several women in positions of power. Kiran Rao is the MAMI chairperson, while Smriti Kiran is the festival’s artistic director.
Two MAMI board members, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, were accused over the weekend of having failed to act on a complaint of sexual harassment against their former collaborator, Vikas Bahl. Both issued lengthy statements today accepting their failure to react on time to the assault and pledging their support to the complainant.
Some of the titles that will be screened in Mumbai have already been announced. These include the Indian and international competition sections, the showcase of Indian films, and the short film package, Dimensions. The festival also hands out the Oxfam Best Film on Gender Equality Award. The theme this year is Cinema Beyond Stereotypes. Nine films have been selected by the three-member jury comprising filmmaker Rima Das, actress Parvathy and Doha Film Institute head Fatma Al-Remaihi.