Award-winning Goan filmmaker refuses to walk red carpet

Sunday, November 29, 2009

PANAJI - Laxmikant Shetgaonkar, the director of Goan film “Pultodcho Munis”, Sunday refused to walk the red carpet at the 40th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFF) here, after being ignored for five days.

Shetgaonkar, whose film won the critics’ award at the Toronto film festival this year, said that the organizers had invited him for the red carpet event only after the media reported the matter.

In a signed pressnote, the director of “Pultodcho Munis”, which was the opening film at the IFFI this year, said that he had taken the decision “in interest of prestige and dignity of the IFFI”.

“For me and my crew members it was a privileged opportunity to walk the red carpet. However, I along with my crew decided not to attend the red carpet offered after five days of the opening of the film in interest of prestige and dignity of the IFFI,” he said.

The organizers had earlier brushed aside Shetgaonkar’s absence from the red carpet event on the opening day of the festival (Nov 23), when “Pultodcho Munis” was screened.

Rajendra Talak, a key member of the red carpet committee, had said: “We tried to contact him on phone but he was not available. He was not picking up my phone.”

Shetgaonkar has in the past been vocal against the mismanagement of affairs vis-a-vis the IFFI, especially the entertainment society of Goa (ESG), the co-hosts for the festival.

Shetgaonkar, in presence of Chief Minister Digambar Kamat (also the chairman of ESG) and other dignitaries, had accused the government of appointing businessmen and people with vested interests in charge of film promotion in the state.

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