Filmmaker Kiran Rao will spearhead a new and unique film centre in Mumbai “FilmBay”, a National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) initiative to be launched by the end of this year. The “FilmBay” will provide an alternative, exhibition space for independent and art-house cinema and documentaries that may never get a traditional commercial Bollywood release.
Kiran Rao, as Creative Director, will be supported by renowned members of the industry, Anupama Chopra, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Rohan Sippy, who will bring in their collective expertise to make the Film Centre a diverse, eclectic hub for debate and discussion.
A collaboration between NFDC and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, the FilmBay will be based at an existing theatre at Sherly Rajan Village, Bandra , whichwill be completely revamped by NFDC and will be equipped with an exhibition hall, a 100-seater digital cinema, a reading and research library, a bookshop and a cafeteria.
The FilmBay has been given on lease to NFDC by the MCGM for a period of 30 (thirty) years from January 2, 2015, to exhibit films along with educational and promotional activities for the growth of cinema. Further, the Centre will also emerge as a hub for the film fraternity and cinephiles to interact and share film wisdom. The Centre will also aim to hold special screenings for the children of municipal schools to enlighten and enhance their vision for good cinema.
In addition to the members of the film fraternity, the board will also constitute two representatives of NFDC and one from MCGM.
Serving the three-year term, the Advisory Committee will be involved in numerous activities such as-
- Assisting in developing goals and plans.
- Recommending programmes and suggesting addition, deletion or revision of programmes when needed, to meet the said theatre’s needs.
- Suggesting time frames and priorities for the implementation of approved plans and programmes.
- Monitoring and conducting evaluations of the programmes and recommending procedure for change as a result of the evaluation.
- Investigating the need for new programmes for the said theatre.
Objectives of NFDC’s FilmBay:
- To make the venue the preferred destinations for viewing films and related performing arts and establish the clear synergy and connection between the same.
- To organize special viewing of Children’s Films.
- To promote cultural and art films, by providing and managing a well-equipped theatre space at very reasonable costs, with all technical facilities.
- To subsidize and promote aspiring and deserving film directors, artists, technicians, researchers etc.
- To host and conduct workshops for adults and children.
- To create a film resource Centre and research library.
The Creative Director of the proposed centre, filmmaker Kiran Rao says, “It has long been my dream to have a space for cinema as art, where one can experience and engage in different ways with a diverse and challenging array of films, and Filmbay is that dream coming true! Thanks to the BMC, we found the ideal space to build a centre for the appreciation of cinema on an institutional scale, and under NFDC, the centre is finally taking shape. Mumbai, with its 100 year history of film, deserves a space for the encouragement and celebration of cinema, and through an eclectic film program as well as a library and archive, we hope to further the conversation around cinema both for the film professional and the film enthusiast.”
Nina Lath Gupta, Managing Director, NFDC India, says, “The Filmbay in Mumbai is a natural corollary to NFDC’s endeavour to facilitate the growth of the good cinema movement in India. This multi-faceted initiative, a brainchild of Kiran Rao, supports NFDC’s intent of pursuing innovative methods of exhibiting and making accessible diverse filmic content to a larger audience base, thus promoting India’s vibrant cinematic movement.”
Shri Sitaram Kunte, Municipal Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai says, “We are very happy to collaborate with NFDC on this wonderful initiative. Mumbai being the film capital of India, needed a unique platform where young filmmakers and cine enthusiasts can come together to share and experience the cinematic movement of both India and the world. With the creative fraternity of the film sector throwing their weight behind this venture, I am sure the venue will become an iconic landmark of Mumbai in a very short time. “
Zoya Akhtar, the director of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, says, “This city gets access to independent world and regional cinema on a big screen. The filmmakers get a platform to exhibit their work the way it should be shown. And film lovers get a space where film can be art and not just commerce.”
Film critic Anupama Chopra says, “FilmBay will be an excellent venue providing audiences an opportunity to discover and celebrate Independent films. It will be a great platform for cinephiles to come together to exchange idea and watch the best of world and regional cinema and expand their cinematic vision.”
The filmmaker Rohan Sippy says, “We are home to a large film industry which does not only make commercial films but independent films too. Multiplexes are commercial entities but it’s important to have a venue where you can showcase and watch alternative and independent cinema. It will provide young filmmakers a fantastic platform to exhibit their films and interact with the audience directly. And If a film is liked here then it opens many more venues for the film to be screened worldwide.”
Incorporated in the year 1975, NFDC was formed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, with the primary objective of promoting the Good Cinema Movement.
NFDC has over the years produced noteworthy films with acclaimed filmmakers like Ghare-Baire(Satyajit Ray), Gandhi (Richard Attenborough), The Making of the Mahatma (ShyamBenegal), Salaam Bombay (Mira Nair), JaaneBhi Do Yaaro(Kundan Shah), Mirch Masala (Ketan Mehta), The Lunchbox(RiteshBatra), The Good Road (Gyan Correa), among many others.
With financial support extended to more than 300 films in 21 regional languages, NFDC’s architecture aims towards creating domestic and global appreciation of good cinema.
NFDC also organises Film Bazaar, South Asia’s global Film Market, which is a platform exclusively created to encourage collaboration between the international and South Asian film fraternity. The Bazaar is focused on discovering, supporting and showcasing South Asian content and talent, in the realm of filmmaking, production and distribution. A converging point for film buyers and sellers from all over the world, the Bazaar also aims at facilitating the sales of world cinema in the South Asian Region. The 2014 market saw an attendance of 1042 delegates from 38 countries.
In addition to planning, promoting and funding independent films in India and international markets, NFDC develops new talent through training professional filmmakers by providing workshops and master classes in writing, direction, editing, cinematography and producing.
NFDC has also launched the brand Cinemas of India to facilitate distribution of its own films and film of other independent filmmakers. The multifaceted distribution platform comprises of Home Video, Theatre Releases, Satellite Syndication, YouTube Internet Channel, VOD and Mobile platforms.