'Poor treatment' at Chennai fete irks Kannada actors

'Poor treatment' at Chennai fete irks Kannada actors

The four-day event to celebrate the 100th year of Indian cinema in Chennai struck a sour note with the organisers refusing entry to renowned actor of yesteryears, Leela- vathi, on Tuesday evening.

The veteran actor was invited by the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce for felicitation on the concluding day and had issued a valid pass for her entry. She was carrying the pass and was accompanied by her actor-son Vinod Raj.

“The organisers had requested me to come a bit late to the event and I reached there at around 4 pm,” Leelavathi told Deccan Herald.

But the mother and son were stopped at the entry point. The police refused them entry saying the hall was full. “We pleaded with them and produced the pass we were carrying, but the police rejected our plea,” she said. Leelavathi was also shocked by the lacklustre response of the members of the Kannada film industry. She and her son contacted a few top persons in the industry, but failed to get any response.

The controversy erupted as soon as invitations for the event were distributed. The card printed in Chennai hardly mentioned the names of Kannada film personalities.
Only three photos of ministers K J George, Ramalinga Reddy and Umashree were printed on it.

Some actors including, Jaggesh boycotted the celebrations over the “poor treatment” meted out to the Kannada film industry at the programme.

Actor Shruthi said, “It was the ego clashes among our own fraternity that resulted in such a shoddy display. It was a celebration to bring people together, but it ended on a sour note.”

Most of the actors and directors complained about not being provided with a decent accommodation and travel arrangements.

Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce vice president Umesh Bankar said, “This celebration has brought great humiliation and embarrassment to artistes from the Kannada film industry. If they could not organise the show in an orderly manner, they should have cancelled it, or handed over the responsibilities to someone else.”

“Only limited number of artistes were invited to the celebration. Senior actors and directors were overlooked and newcomers from other industries were given more importance.The entire show was a sort of war of egos among actors and directors from different film industries,” he said.

“Why were the celebrations arranged in a hurried manner? Senior people were asked to travel in a bus, which itself is a humiliation. No one is taking responsibility for organising the show and we want to know the people behind this incident,” said Kannada actor Shashikumar.

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