The Mumbai Film Festival has confirmed that Anupama Chopra is taking over as festival director starting with this year’s edition (Oct 29-Nov 5) while filmmaker Kiran Rao will head the board of trustees.

Anurag Kashyap and Anupama Chopra

Organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), the Mumbai fest was rescued from a funding crunch last year by donations from the public, local industrialists, producers, filmmakers and stars.

Chopra, a film critic, TV anchor and author, was instrumental in rallying local industry support for the festival, which she joined last year in the role of creative director. She takes over this year with a mission to find long-term sustainable funding for the annual event.

Rao, who will head the MAMI board, directed critically-acclaimed drama Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries), which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival, and also produces films and TV series through Aamir Khan Productions.

Outgoing festival director Srinivasan Narayanan is now focusing on academic and distribution ventures. He will also work as a consultant for the new team.

Also joining the MAMI board are filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Farhan Akhtar, Karan Johar and Vikramaditya Motwane; actors Deepika Padukone and Riteish Deshmukh; and a trio of leading industry executives: Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra; PVR chairman Ajay Bijli and Disney India managing director Siddharth Roy Kapur.

In addition, Smriti Kiran has been named as creative director of the festival and Anu Rangachar has been appointed head of international programming. Prasad Khatu has been appointed as deputy programmer.

“We want to begin by introducing you to our new board of trustees who will put their expertise and experience together to bring you a bigger, better and even more exciting edition of the festival,” said MAMI in a message to patrons.