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Film fest feels the pinch

Calcutta, Oct. 30: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s government, which has an affinity for things cultural, has learnt not to squander taxpayer’s money and decided to lessen its financial exposure in the Calcutta film festival.

As a measure of the new thinking, the government would spend far less in organising the Ninth international film festival in Calcutta, slated to start from November 10, Bhattacharjee said today. This would pave the way for increased participation by the film industry and companies keen on sponsoring events such as film festivals.

The festival’s budget has been estimated at Rs 96 lakh, of which only Rs 25 lakh will be forked out by the state government.

“The central government has recognised film making as an industry. Therefore, it must generate its own funds and bear the expenses of such festivals,” asserted the chief minister.

The upcoming festival will be much different from the previous editions in that — for the first time — individual delegates to the festival would have to pay a fee to participate. The delegates to the festival have been asked to pay a token amount.

As many as 130 films, including five telefilms, will be screened at the festival. The venues for the screenings are, like before, Nandan, Chaplin and New Empire.

Ticket rates for screenings will be Rs 30 and Rs 50, officials said. Only a few tickets of Rs 10 would be distributed for some shows at New Empire, they said.

Officials said the Indian panorama would consist of 27 films. Only three Bengali films will be screened, apart from five telefilms in digital format. This will be a unique feature, they said.

The festival would be inaugurated by Union information and broadcasting minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

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