Children’s film fest opens today in Hyderabad

Children’s film fest opens today in Hyderabad
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Children’s Film Fest Opens Today, Importance of Hyderabad, International Children’s Film Festival. Till late Wednesday night, except for the list of films and theatres, there were no proper details available on the films even on the official website.

Hyderabad: For once Hyderabad will be in the national news for reasons other than political. The most prestigious and probably the only important film event of national importance of Hyderabad – the 18th edition of the International Children’s Film Festival (ICFFI) -- scheduled between November 14 and 20 will screen around 198 films from 48 countries at 12 theatres in Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
The festival is scheduled to be inaugurated at 5.30pm today at Lalitha Kala Thoranam by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy. But he will not be present as he is leaving for Delhi to appear before the GoM. Manish Tewari, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, will preside over the event. Actor Ranbir Kapoor and writer-lyricist Gulzar are expected to be special guests for the evening. Prasad’s multiplex is the main venue and the opening film would be ‘Gopi Gawaiyya Bagha Baiyaya’, recently produced by CFSI. Even as the I&PR department is sharing the information on the schedule and details of the films, venues and seminars in bits and pieces, chaos seems to be the order of the day.
Till late Wednesday night, except for the list of films and theatres, there were no proper details available on the films even on the official website. The catalogue was uploaded towards late evening. Further there wasn’t any information available on the open forum schedule or the speakers who would be present.
The Hans India received information on experts being contacted in the last minute to confirm their participation in the forums. The chairperson of CFSI, Amol Gupte, was yet to arrive in the city. While the earlier chairpersons including Sai Paranjpe, Raveena Tandon and Nandita Das would arrive in the city at least five days ahead of the festival, so as to oversee the arrangements, the current chairperson was unavailable even to answer any queries on phone and sources reveal that he would probably fly in for the inauguration and leave the next day.
It was in 1995, under the aegis of the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Nara Chandrababu Naidu, that the city of Hyderabad was made the permanent venue for the bi-annual festival following the huge success that year. It was a welcome decision and plans were afloat to set up a permanent spot and an exclusive auditorium to hold the festival. With every year, the number of films increased and the expectations doubled. However, FDC which is the nodal agency to look after the logistics in Hyderabad has been goofing up time and again.
In fact, the 17th edition of the festival held at Shilparamam was also ridden with problems, The three makeshift tents that were set up to screen the films were unsuitable for an international festival.
The single level seating prevented the audience from reading the subtitles, bad audio and video was an issue and use of a single projector created interruptions during screening. There were instances when the jury walked out, refusing to watch films in such conditions. The seminars that were held during the event, however, were the saving grace. Following the fiasco the then chairperson of CFSI, Nandita Das, had suggested changing the permanent venue status of Hyderabad. Fortunately, that was not to be and this year too, the city is the venue for the festival.
But, in the absence of proper planning and execution, one hopes that this edition of ICFFI will not turn out to be the last one that Hyderabad will host. That would definitely be unfortunate.
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