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IFFI's Indian Panorama begins with many a fumble

By Sugandha Rawal
Panaji, Nov 21 (IANS) Quite unexpectedly, there were no protests over the controversial exclusion of two films from the 48th IFFI’s Indian Panorama at its inauguration by evergreen actress Sridevi here on Tuesday, but the event itself saw many a fumble.

The Indian Panorama section of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has been in news due to the exclusion of “S Durga” and “Nude” — two films suggested by the jury but excluded by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting — following which filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh resigned as the head of the feature film jury of the gala. Scriptwriter Apurva Asrani and Gyan Correa also submitted their resignation thereafter.

The ceremony, which had Bollywood’s “Chandni” Sridevi as the special guest to inaugurate the section, was a bit delayed, and it seemed that the preparations for the event were not in place.

Call it a result of last minute changes or just negligence, but the host of the event was not well-prepared for what she had to say. In fact, she even had to apologise for reading out wrong information.

Festival Director Sunit Tandon was also seen directing her to add some names to the list and acknowledge them for their presence at the event.

But the highlight was when she accidentally called for Apurva Asrani to come and collect his certificate of participation, without realizing that he had resigned from the jury.

Another goof up was when Sridevi went on and on about the achievements by filmmaker Sudhir Mishra, who chairs the non-feature film jury, when another person was receiving the certificate.

Jury members like Tuhinabha Majumdar, Jacob Benjamin Rahul Rawail and Nikkhil Advani were also acknowledged for their participation in the Indian Panorama section.

With no mention of the excluded films, Tandon, in his address, said this year’s films in the Indian Panorama highlighted the diversity of Indian cinema.

“Over the years, the Indian Panorama is thought to be the best of Indian cinema, and we are proud to say that this year is no exception. This year’s edition has some milestone movies from noted directors along with some young and talented directors. I am proud to say that this year’s films present perhaps the perfect combination of entertainment.

“The Indian Panorama is a mechanism to identify new films to make India as a center of cinematic excellence,” Tandon said

On another note, before the event began, filmmaker Sudhir Mishra was seen expressing his displeasure at a volunteer over the transport arrangements.

(Sugandha Rawal’s trip to Goa is at the invitation of the IFFI organisers. She can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS
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