Children’s Film Festival runs into a mess | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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Children’s Film Festival runs into a mess

The 17th International Children’s Film Festival got into a mess this morning when the screening of an international competition movie, Ellen Smit’s Eep, from the Netherlands could not be screened in its “correct aspect ratio”.

bollywood Updated: Nov 15, 2011 18:33 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran

The 17th International Children’s Film Festival here got into a mess this morning when the screening of an international competition movie, Ellen Smit’s Eep, from the Netherlands could not be screened in its “correct aspect ratio”.

The five-member international jury, headed by American director-producer Rock Demers, refused to watch the film under such conditions. The other members of the jury are Filipino helmer Clodualdo del Mundo, Director of the Seattle Children's Film Festival, Elizabeth Shepherd, and India’s actress Seema Biswas and director Murali Nair.

Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
The jury and audience, including tens of schoolchildren, had to wait for 70 minutes before Eep’s screening could begin, but a noisy soundtrack and distorted images forced the jury to walk out.

Monica Wahi, Festival’s Creative Head and Coordinator, later told this correspondent that the print was to be blamed for the mess. Eep would be screened again, and hopefully better projected.

Eep was scheduled this morning at one of the three makeshift auditoriums (huge tents really) built on the grounds of the Festival’s main open-air venue, Shilparamam, in Hyderabad. Unfortunately, the auditoriums are pretty unsuitable for an international festival and an international gathering. It is uncomfortably cold inside the halls, and the seats are all on the same level making it difficult for those at the back, especially children, to read the subtitles.

However, what is even more appalling is that the movies are being shown with a single projector, which means that a screening has to be interrupted every time a reel is changed. Also, huge sound boxes have been placed at the four corners of the auditoriums in the absence of a modern integrated system.

All this in a city like Hyderabad with its swanky theatres, its Imax and a thriving cinema industry.

What a contrast, indeed, to the picture at the recent Doha Tribeca Film Festival, which this writer covered. There again, it was an open-air venue where several tent-auditoriums had been built for screening movies. But the interiors have been done so well that they were as good as any regular world class cinema.

It appears that the Hyderabad Festival’s (needless) experiment with open-air venue has gone awfully wrong.