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 (W), which will 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 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.
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."
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."
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."