Mumbaikars who love serious cinema will soon have a 7,000 square-feet two-storied building at Bandra’s Carter Road dedicated to their tastes. The space, called FilmBay is an initiative of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The original structure is being renovated to make space for an exhibition hall, a 100-seat digital cinema, a reading and research library, a bookshop and a cafeteria.
This is not the first time that a Mumbai will get a dedicated alternative cinema space. In the 1980s, when art house filmmakers were caught between the commercial pressure, and the invasion of VCR-fueled video home viewing rage, All India Radio’s Akashwani theatre in South Mumbai had become a haven for good cinema, which gave much-needed space to Amol Palekar and Hrikesh Mukherjee’s middle-of-the road comedies.
Mumbai will soon get a cinema space dedicated to good cinema movement where Rs. 100crore star opuses will not be allowed to disrupt screenings of small, independent films. Independent and non mainstream films could soon find a haven at FilmBay, which will be set up in Bandra (West) by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and filmmaker Kiran Rao.
“In today’s day and age, visual literacy is important,” said Chopra. “All of us are blinkered in our choice of films. Film Bay will be a rare space that will proactively screen all kinds of films — regional and international.” Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte said he was certain that that the venue would soon become an iconic cultural landmark in Mumbai. Nina Lath Gupta, managing director of NFDC, said, “We have planned this as a research center which acts as a common point between academics and ground love for good cinema.”