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Delegates outraged as Inox, R-Deccan go off the list in PIFF

Film buffs living in the eastern part of the city have been inconvenienced, said delegates.

pune Updated: Jan 16, 2018 15:09 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
City Pride Satara road wore a deserted look since many competition films were not screened here.(Rahul Raut/HT Photo)

Yogesh Salvi travels all the way from Katraj to watch films part of the 16th Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) but the long way to the theatre screens could not bear any fruit for him as he was disappointed with the film selection. Suneet Nikam, who is a regular festival delegate, went a step ahead and opted out of the festival since there wasn’t a single screening near his home. “Until last year, I was a regular festival delegate and used to watch films in Camp but this year there is not a single screening in our area,” said the resident of Kharadi.

His concern was echoed by hundreds of film lovers from the eastern part of the city who are miffed as Inox has gone off the list of cinema halls this year. R Deccan has met the same fate. Film buffs living in the eastern part of the city have been inconvenienced, said delegates. “Until last year, Inox used to be one of the venues for film screening during PIFF. However this year, the entire film festival is revolving around the western part of the city,” said Radhika Joshi, a resident of Mukundnagar.

Another concern for film lovers is that most films under the competition category are being screened only at City Pride Kothrud, ignoring other halls like City Pride Satara road. The festival is well into its fifth day with 200 films being screened at venues like City Pride Kothrud, City Pride Satara road, Mangala, National Film Archive of India, Law college road and Carnival cinema in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Most of these theatres are located in the west region of Pune. According to delegates, film lovers have still been disappointed due to the large crowd witnessed at Kothrud for films under the competition category.

A few of the delegates were also annoyed with the fact that the screenings at City Pride Satara road had no schedule of screening any of the popular world competition or Marathi Competition cinema. “Most of films screened here are very slow or aren’t interesting. Many of the delegates walked out of the shows and there is hardly any competition film screened here, which is a disappointment. They have kept all the films at Kothrud or Mangala which is not helping us at all since by the time we reach there through traffic, we don’t even get a seat,” said Yogesh Salvi.

The crowd at Mangala theatre was mostly for Marathi films and few of the delegates felt that the selection of the films needs to be scrutinised. “A film like Mantra was not even part of the competition today, which is sad, and the organisers have put all the screenings of three Marathi films one after another all in one plac , which doesn’t give the delegate any option since once the screens are full you have no space to sit and you end up missing on the film,” said Sandeep Gholve, IT professional, who takes a week off to watch films. He has been a regular to the film festival for the past 5 years and feels that the films are average except for the Marathi films.

Shalini Khatan, a resident of Aundh, who is a regular at the film festival, feels that the films this year are average and that the screens are less in number. “I hardly get to watch two films a day as compared to last year where I could watch more. City Pride Kothrud ride is very crowded and you can’t be sure to get a seat even if you reach in time,” she said.

Shrikant K comes all the way from Khadakwasla and it is his first time at PIFF. He only found the Marathi films interesting so far while the other films have been average.

Shreshtha Banik, a student of MIT, Loni said, “We have been told to be at Mangala as there tends to be a crowd at Kothrud and we won’t be able to see the films. But here not all films are that interesting.”

Ameya Ramgude spends most of his time travelling from Hadapsar to Mangala to catch the screenings. “The biggest drawback is how the schedule of screening of films has been designed. It simply doesn’t give you enough time to reach a place. I would have preferred a screening in the Eastern part of Pune, too, as they have done for delegates living in PCMC,” he said.

Organizers, who agreed that it is sad that this year they did not get a theatre in the east, said, “If only the multiplex owners were broadminded and didn’t mind losing a few commercial films by giving us two theatres, it would have helped us in screening films in the eastern part. You need to love cinema to be benevolent and feel the urge to be part of a film festival. We can’t pay the prices asked for. We can only pay a nominal amount or if someone can come on board gratis.”

First Published: Jan 16, 2018 15:08 IST