No Show by Local Actors: The 18th International Children Film Festival in Hyderabal was given a miss by almost all Telegu actors, and even the local stars who work in the movies of Hyderabad. The 18the Golden Elephant event was inaugurated in the presence of Bollywood actor RanbeerKapoor and child actor Darsheel Safary. Other stalwarts of the Indian cinema who were present at the event were director-lyricist, Gulzhar, and director-actor Amol Palekar. Actor Rana Dggubati, too, was present at the event. The Children’s Film Festival has remained a biennial event held in Hyderabad since the year 1995. Lalitha Kala Thoranam at Public Gardens is the fixed venue of this event. Earlier, the stars and directors used to show the interest and dedication to be present at the event, even without invitation. Then, what is it that kept them from paying a visit to the event?
Venue Woes: According to A. P. Film Development Corporation’s former chairperson, G. AdiseshagiriRao, the problem was because of the venue, and some consequent problems. Even though Hyderabad is the permanent host of the event, the office is in Mumbai. The Hyderabad Government had earlier been willing to contribute some land for the construction of a venue, but the plans got cancelled. But, with the office of the children’s fest being in Mumbai instead of a local office in Hyderabad, it is difficult to get the local talent to perform in the inauguration and closing ceremonies. With the office in Mumbai, only Mumbai based firms dealing with event management get to organize the ceremonies. Troops of celebrities can be roped in to arrive at Hyderabad every two years, and take off after a show which turns out to be devoid of local flavour. Since the office is in Mumbai, only the industries which are close to Bollywood get an advantage. So, Rao feels that the local talents are not being respected enough. Andhra Pradesh Producer Council President, Burugupalli Sivarama Krishna, agrees with Rao. He, too, believes that if the office of the children’s film fest is shifted to Hyderabad from its current location in Mumbai, and a permanent venue in Hyderabad is dedicated to this event, then the film fest will reach new heights of success in the city.
Big Egos: Director Teja’s opinion is different from Rao’s. He seems to think that the only thing that has kept the stars of Tollywood from setting foot to this prestigious event is their huge ego. He seems to think that the Telegu film industry, which has failed to produce a good film with an out-of-the box idea or subject and a fresh story, has a great ego problem. The directors and writers like to attend the other big film festivals because they can get great ideas from the films showcased there, so that the ideas can be implemented into their own movies. But, when it comes to the movies made for children, it is hard to get an ‘inspiration’ for a film that will suit the Telegu stars. He said that the stars hog for press limelight, and would have been at the fest if it had been organized in Chennai or Kollywood.