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No Tamil movie at Chennai festival

Special Correspondent

"We have the slots ready but no films," says festival director E. Thangaraj We have slots but no films, says festival director E. Thangaraj



CURTAINS GO UP: S.K.Arora, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, lights a lamp to inaugurate the third Chennai International Film Festival in Chennai on Saturday. Others from left are David T.Hopper,U.S. Consul-General for south India, Actors Sneha, Prashanth and S.Ve. Sekar. — Photo: K.Pichumani

CHENNAI: Close on the heels of International film festivals in Goa and Kerala, comes a relatively younger local festival, only in its third year since inception.

The curtains went up for the Chennai International Film Festival at Anand Theatre on Saturday evening shortly after German director Margarathe Von Trotta introduced her film `Rosen Strasse.'

The weeklong film festival, at Anand, Little Anand and the Film Chamber, has lined up about a 100 films from all around the world. But none from the city.

The festival director, E. Thangaraj, observed that the Indo Cine Appreciation Foundation was unable to source a Tamil film. He urged Tamil film producers to participate in the festival by providing their films. "We have the slots ready but no films," he said, during the inauguration ceremony.

Maybe because, as actor Prashanth admitted: "It's easy to make a commercial film but difficult to make a film for the senses."

Sneha told her "future directors," the film students present at the venue, that she looked forward to them to make good cinema.

Audiences were surprised that an industry that produces about a 100 films a year was unable to provide a few for a festival.

"The need is not just for good movies, but also to make sure that they are seen internationally," S.K. Arora, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, said during his address. The Government was in the process of signing co-production agreements with United Kingdom, Canada, China and other European countries, he added.

The Tamil Nadu Government's Ministry of Information and Tourism had sponsored Rs. three lakh towards the festival. "It is a rare opportunity for all of us to watch the latest movies from all over the world," V. Varaprasad Rao, Secretary for Information and Tourism, said.

The State Government had also exempted Censor certificate for foreign films and duty for import of films for the festival, Mr. Thangaraj said.

David T. Hopper, U.S. Consul General for South India, David Holly, Deputy High Commissioner, Australian High Commission, Eunice Crook, Director South India, British Council, R.J. Shahaney, Consul of the Italian Consulate, J. Tamleh, Director of the Iranian Cultural House, Mumbai, Gabriele M. Landwehr, Director of Max Mueller Bhavan, Jean-Pascal Elbaz, Director of Alliance Francaise of Madras, R. Veeramani, Chairman of Gem Granite Group of Companies, John Prabhakar, President of the Indo Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry, S.Ve. Shekher and U. Karunakaran of Anand theatre were the others who greeted the packed audience at the inaugural.

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