Fun Republic rolls “My First Film” festival

MUMBAI: Fun Cinemas has always been in the forefront at organizing and hosting festivals to promote niche films. At a time when Fame is playing host to debut filmmakers under the guidance of Dev Benegal; Fun Republic has organized ‘My First Film’ Festival wherein 14 debut films of varied filmmakers will be screened from 29 September to 5 October.


At a press conference held to announce the festival, Fun Republic general manager communications Niranjan Prakash said, “We didn’t want to show first films of directors that are box office hits. We wanted to bring certain films that made a statement and that have been ideologies in themselves.”


The DVD, VCD of majority of these films are in the market. Moreover, most of the films have also been screened on TV, so what is the reason for organizing a festival with these films? “Multiplexes have lower capacity screens, I would rather do different content building like this, than to keep on running recent releases. This festival is not going to get me money at Rs 50 a ticket, and nor are current films getting me money with four patrons per screening. I am glad I am serving something meaningful to the audience,” Prakash added.


ICICI Bank and Mcdowells are the official sponsors for the festival. 


The festival kick started with Farhan Akhtar’s film Dil Chahta Hai (DCH), which stars Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna and Preity Zinta. “I won’t deny the fact that I still think fondly of DCH, but it was necessary to emotionally disconnect from DCH in order to move and make new and better films. After having made the film I don’t want to sit back with my audience and analyze it now,” says Akhtar.


On the other hand film maker Onir, whose My Brother Nikhil is being screened at the festival, shares a different point of view. “This is the first time I will have the pleasure of watching My Brother Nikhil in a theatre and thankfully I am not worried about the box office now. Secondly, I also get to interact with my audience and learn from them,” says Onir. 


While these DCH and My Brother Nikhil had released in 2001 and 2005 respectively, My First Film Festival is also screening Chitra Palekar’s Mati Mai, which is yet to be released. The film has already traveled to the Toronto Film Festival and shall be screened at the London Film Festival.


“This screening will give me a fair idea of the response that I can expect for the film when it is released in Mumbai in November,” says Palekar. While she has acted in and produced films earlier, at the age of 59 she has directed her first film Mati Mai, which will release in Pune on 6 October.


My Film Festival will also screen Subhash Ghai’s debut film Kalicharan on its last day – 5 October – wherein the director will be present to interact with the audience.


The complete list of the screenings is as follows: