IFFI fiasco: No seat for award winner

Tara has now been shown the door at a screening of the Brazilian film Olga, reports Anusha Subramanian.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2005 03:41 IST

The 36th annual international film festival currently on in Goa just can't get it right. If Bipasha Basu getting knocked down by an overzealous fan at the inaugural ceremony were not enough, Kannada actress and winner of this year's national award

Tara has now been shown the door at a screening of the Brazilian film Olga.

Tara, who along with Bipasha was the thali girl for IFFI, was turned away from the Inox theatre (the official multiplex venue for IFFI) on Friday evening as the hall was packed to capacity.

A multiplex staff even suggested that she should watch the Polish film Tulips showing in the next hall. "I am going to complain to the festival director and ask for another screening of the film," a furious Tara told HT.

Tara was not alone. Hundreds of delegates including young filmmakers, film institute students and journalists, who were not among the handful of invitees to the opening ceremony where the film was first screened, had to go back disappointed. Strangely enough, the organisers had chosen to screen Olga, a film about the trial and tribulations of a girl in Nazi Germany, for 3,000 delegates in a hall with 230 seats.

Directed by Jayme Monjardin, Olga was Brazil's official entry for the best foreign language film at the Oscars last year.

A filmmaker from West Bengal slammed the organisers. "Olga is a popular film. It was foolish of them to have screened it in a theatre, which has only 230 seats."

When contacted, festival director Afzal Amanulla shrugged off responsibility. The Directorate of Film Festivals was not responsible for the screening schedule, he said. "Don't involve me in this," he said passing the buck to the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), one of the organisers of IFFI. All attempts to get in touch with the officials of ESG, a department of the Goa government, proved futile.

The row is reminiscent of a similar drama at the 1991 IFFI in Chennai when Kamal Hasan led a stiff fight after festival authorities refused to screen the opening film a second time.

First Published: Nov 26, 2005 18:43 IST