Deepika Padukone has replaced Kiran Rao as the chairperson of the annual Mumbai Film Festival, according to a report in Mumbai Mirror. The decision was made after a recent meeting of the board of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, which organises the festival. Rao has stepped down to focus on a film project, the publication said.

Among the factors that contributed towards Padukone’s selection are her “notable evolution into a credible actor, her connect with the audience across the globe, especially with youth, and her incredible work to create awareness about mental health in the country”, the publication said.

“It is an absolute honour and a huge responsibility,” Padukone told Mumbai Mirror. “I believe in MAMI’s vision and we are committed towards creating a community that cinema lovers and creators of a film passionate nation like ours truly deserve.”

Kiran Rao replaced Shyam Benegal as chairperson in 2014. The festival director is journalist Anupama Chopra, while Smriti Kiran is the creative director. The festival’s title sponsor is Jio, and the MAMI board includes Nita Ambani and her daughter, Isha Ambani, alongside filmmakers such as Karan Johar, Rohan Sippy, Vikramaditya Motwane and Zoya Akhtar.