Festival ended 2 months ago

Almost two months have passed since the Kozhikode International Film Festival held as part of the city Corporation’s ongoing golden jubilee got over. But the funds for the fete are yet to be released from the Corporation, leaving the organisers in the lurch.

The five-day festival, organised by a group of cinephiles in the city, had run into rough weather even when the festival was on. The initial budget for the festival was Rs.16 lakh, but it was cut down to Rs.5 lakh citing paucity of funds.

However, even this amount is yet to be released though the film festival’s chairperson and a councillor of the ruling party Janamma Kunjunni had promised during an open forum then that the funds would be released “before the end of the festival”.

Since the budget was reduced to Rs.5 lakh, prints of all the films that the organisers intended to screen could not be procured. Still, they managed to conduct the festival without many glitches, thanks to the money generated from selling delegate passes and the cooperation of the film lovers of Kozhikode.

Delegate passes in excess of 1,100 were sold for the Tagore Theatre with a seating capacity of 950. The average attendance levels for the films were around 500-600.

However, festival convener K.J. Thomas, who spent from his pocket to run the festival, stopped short of blaming anyone for the delay.

“The delay in releasing the funds is due to some technical issues. I heard that it will be sorted out in a week,” said Mr. Thomas.

When contacted by The Hindu, Ms. Janamma Kunjunni said the delay was due to lack of proper sanction from the government.

“We got the sanction for the film festival funds only a few days ago. Even to make use of the Corporation’s own fund, we need to get permission from the Urban Development Department. The funds will be transferred once the accounts are approved at a meeting of the festival organising committee to be convened soon,” Ms. Kunjunni said.

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