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Why so few south Indian films in Indian Panorama, asks Kannada filmmaker

Kannada filmmaker Rajendra Singh Babu complained about the lack of more south Indian films in the Indian Panorama at the ongoing IFFI 2016. He asked if Sultan and Airlift made it to the lift, then why not Rajinikanth’s Kabali.

world cinema Updated: Nov 21, 2016 17:57 IST
Sweta Kaushal
Sweta Kaushal
Hindustan Times
Indian panorama,Kannada filmmaker Rajendra Singh Babu,Kabali
Kannada filmmaker Rajendra Singh Babu at a press conference in Panaji during IFFI 2016.(HT Photo)

Director Rajendra Singh Babu has expressed displeasure over fewer south Indian films featuring in the Indian Panorama at the International Film Festival of India that opened in Goa on Sunday.

The well-known Kannada filmmaker, who is the chairperson of the jury for the feature section, wondered why Rajinikanth-starrer Kabali didn’t make it when films like Sultan and Airlift did.

Information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu opened the Indian Panorama on Monday morning.

Sanskrit film Ishti, directed by G Prabha, opened the feature film section, while Bobo Khoraijam’s Manipuri film Ima Sabitri was the inaugural film of the non-feature section.

“This time, a film like Kabali could not enter the Indian Panorama. When Sultan and Airlift come, why not Kabali,” Babu said.

Kabali was a very well-made film and had done Rs 600 crore business. Rajinikanth was in a different role and the film was an eye-opener for mainstream Indian cinema, he said.

“I don’t know what happened at the Film Federation of India, why it didn’t reach the jury,” said Babu.

On Monday, eminent directors Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Buddhadeb Dasgupta criticised the jury after their films did not make it to the final list. Adoor and Buddhadeb submitted Pinneyum and Tope respectively for the competition section.

“It is dangerous for young filmmakers. The selectors... I don’t even know who selects them. There are people like Adoor Gopalakrishnan and myself who have given their life to films. How can IFFI do that? My film has been shown at very important film festivals, in important film sections. I have seen the crowd there. They have been following my films for years,” Buddhadev said.

Information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu poses with the features jury in Panaji during IFFI 2016. (HT Photo)

Babu said he requested the government to allow four to five mainstream Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films and the rest could be picked by FFI. The government had promised to make the change, he said.

“We are the biggest filmmakers in south India, we make 1,000 films every year and not a single film reached the jury,” he said.

The filmmaker suggested regional wings -- north, east, west and south -- so that selections from all parts of the country could reach the jury.

He had requested the government to ensure that at least two children’s films reached the jury, said Babu, who has written and directed love stories, suspense thrillers and comedies including Antha, Simhada Mari Sainya and Gandu Bherundra.

With inputs from PTI

First Published: Nov 21, 2016 17:05 IST