Demand for 7 films at IFFI keeps Kamal out of jubilee honour

Actor Kamal Haasan displays his Lifetime Achievement Award 2009-10 presented to him by the Rotary Club of Madras at a function in Chennai on Tuesday. PTI

This, even as the festival, beginning in Goa on November 23, will screen films of Soumitra Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore and Asha Parekh, the three others to have achieved this distinction.

The reason behind this anomaly, highly placed sources in the Information & Broadcasting Ministry said, was an insistence by the star that at least seven of his films will have to be shown at IFFI.

The Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), the sources said, will screen three films each of the other three stalwarts and the same offer had been made to Haasan, but he turned it down.
His logic, the sources said, was that since he had worked in all the four southern languages as well as Hindi, it would not be prudent to show just three of his films.

Caught in a cleft stick, the DFF has now decided to hold a full-fledged retrospective of Haasan’s films in New Delhi in February.

However, I&B Ministry officials concede that Haasan’s “demand” was not unjustified. “He is one of our most brilliant  actor-directors, and looking at it objectively, three films of his in IFFI would not have done justice to his vast talent,” said a senior official on condition of anonymity.

“But we also cannot screen more than that number there because of the huge number of films on show and the resultant tight schedule,” he added.

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