A substandard inaugural at children's film fest

Damp squib

The City’s International Children’s Film Festival may have captured the imagination of many children over the past years, but the inaugural ceremony of its seventh edition failed to impress the dignitaries and adults present on Monday.

Little stars: Actor Sudeep with child artistes (from left) Marianne Lucas (Columbia), Snehith (Karnataka), Tejja Sajja and  Kunal Sharma (Andhra Pradesh) at the inauguration of the Seventh International Children’s Film Festival on Monday. DH PhotoThe event was so poorly planned and organised that Kannada film actress Ragini Dwivedi stormed out of the hall screaming at her manager, “What is this nonsense? This is so insulting…”

The event which was scheduled to begin at 2.15 pm was officially inaugurated only at 3.45 pm. The lighting of the lamp almost took place twice when organisers requested film actor Sudeep to do the honours at around 3.20 pm in the belief that Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda would not turn up.

The actor in turn called on stage K V Chandrashekar, president of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, and other officials. Just as the lamp was to be lit, some of the organisers received an update that the chief minister was on his way and thus stopped the lighting of the lamp.

Actress Ragini was sidelined for most part of the event, so much so the microphone was taken away from her for some unknown reason after she was invited to speak a few words. She, however, put on a straight face when she was invited to speak moments later and managed to speak a few lines without revealing her frustration.

It may also be noted that the list of films and the schedule for screenings were not announced even during the final press conference on January 4. The film screening schedule provided to the press on Monday also has a line saying that organisers can change films or the time of screening without prior notice.

The festival starting on Tuesday will run for five days simultaneously at Udupi, Mangalore, Coorg, Chikmagalur and Hassan, and will feature roughly 100 films, both international and Indian.

The inaugural film at the Bangalore edition is Iranian film ‘The Sound of My foot’.

Subsidy for four films

Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda announced that the State government will provide Rs 25 lakh subsidy for four children’s films as against the current limit of two.

In the 2005 budget, the State government made provisions to provide subsidy of Rs 25 lakh each for two good children’s films. In the upcoming budget session, the government will choose four children’s films to grant subsidy.

The chief minister added that his government was keen on developing the film sector and looked at cinema as a serious form of art that enhanced the global image of the State and provided an international opening to local film artistes.

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