Protests Hit Indian Film Festival

Movie-lovers have staged a sit-in protest at the 37th International Film Festival of India after organisers handed out too many passes to film screenings, leaving legions of fans locked out. The Indian Directorate of Film Festivals and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the festival's organisers, distributed over 5,000 passes for a screening on Saturday (25NOV06) at the Inox multiplex, which only has seating capacity for 1,272 people, and the gap between supply and demand left fans fuming. The situation reached crisis point when many movie lovers, including film directors, producers and technicians, were refused permission to enter the screening, and began to chant slogans slamming the festival's organisers. One film fan, MOHAMED IDRIS, said, "The organisers, along with the police personnel rushed in to pacify the agitating people, but to no avail. A meeting between the sore delegates, and the organisers was called amidst much commotion." The 37th International Film Festival of India is being held from 23 November (06) to 3 December (06) in Goa, eastern India. The festival's top prize is the Golden Peacock, with the director of the prize-winning film being awarded $22,400 (GBP11,600).


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