IFFI opening film’s producer sore over audience apathy

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

PANAJI - ‘West is West’ producer Leslee Udwin Tuesday said she was disappointed to see nearly 40 percent of the audience walk out of the screening of the film at the start of 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) a day earlier.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Leslee said that a large section of the audience at her film’s screening Monday were officials or people who were interested in “things other than watching the film”.

“There were a lot of officials and delegates, along with the people who came to see the film. Nearly 40 percent of the audience walked out after the inaugural ceremony before the screening. It was a bit disappointing,” she said.

“There were mobile phones ringing and children running around. It was a bit of a shock to me,” she said.

“The film was like a baby to me. Because I stayed away from my children for more than a year, because I was travelling and working on the film, and when this kind of a thing happens, I was like,” she said, imitating a shudder.

Udwin’s film deals with a Britain-based father’s worry about his 15-year-old boy who he believes is turning his back on his Pakistani heritage and, therefore, decides to take him to the country of their roots.

Apart from Udwin’s disenchantment with the opening film ceremony, the inauguration ceremony of film festival was marked by some embarrassing moments.

These included repeated gaffes by actress Gracy Singh, who was a co-compere of the event along with actor Aftab Shivdasani, and scraps of paper falling on stage from the folds of the shawls that as a gesture of felicitation were draped around the necks of celebrities.

–Indo Asian News Service

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