The year 2019 is all about new beginnings for actress Deepika Padukone. After turning producer with her next film Chhapaak with Meghna Gulzar, the actress is stepping into a new role as festival chairperson for the Mumbai Film Festival. She replaces Kiran Rao who held the post for four years since 2014.
A board meeting of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) was held mid-January where the decision to appoint Padukone as chairperson was taken unanimously.
According to a report in the daily tabloid, Mumbai Mirror, Rao is leaving her post to focus on filmmaking. She made her directorial debut with Dhobi Ghat (2011) and has since produced Talaash (2012), Dangal (2016), Secret Superstar (2017) and the recent documentary Rubaru Roshni (2019). Rao had replaced veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal as the chairperson in 2014 and is passing the baton to Padukone.
“After four years as chairperson of the Academy, I am delighted to welcome one of India’s most loved film stars, Deepika Padukone as the new chairperson. Deepika has been a supporter of the festival and part of our board of trustees, and is a person whose ethos and work I greatly admire. I am sure that under her leadership the Academy will become stronger and more robust in serving the cinema community,” Rao told the paper.
The festival celebrated 20 years last year and a veritable who’s who of the film industry sits on the board trustees. The co-chairperson is Nita Ambani and filmmakers Farhan and Zoya Akhtar, Karan Johar, Kabir Khan, Vishal Bhardwaj, Vikramaditya Motwane and Rohan Sippy are some of the trustees.
Film journalist Anupama Chopra is the festival director and will plan the well-attended cinema festival with Padukone.
“It’s an absolute honour and a huge responsibility,” said the new chairperson. “I believe in MAMI’s vision and we are committed towards creating a community that cinema lovers and creators a film-passionate nation like ours truly deserve.”
The upcoming edition of the festival will be held from 17 to 24 October this year.