The three-day gala function to be organised by South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce (SIFCC) at Chennai to mark centenary year of Indian cinema, scheduled to be held on September 1 has been postponed. The much awaited event will be held without change in programme schedule from September 22 to 24.

The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce president B. Vijayakumar said that non availability of dates of President Pranab Mukherjee was the reason for postponing the event. “The President has agreed to preside over the valedictory function, which will be held at Nandan auditorium on September 24”, he said.

Colourful entertainment programme designed by Kannada film industry to mark the occasion will be held on morning of September 23. While Telugu industry presents its programme on the same day evening, Malayalam and Tamil industries will stage programmes on the inaugural day September 22. Grand finale will be held on September 23.

Speaking to The Hindu, Secretary SIFCC and vice-president Film Federation of India Ravi Kottarakara said that, film fraternity was particular about “first citizen” of the country to attend the event. “In fact the then Presidents Neelam Sanjeev Reddy and R. Venkataraman have attended 50 years of Indian Talikes and 75 years of Indian cinema in 1981 and 1989”, he recalled.

Clarifying that there would be no change in programmes scheduled for the three days, he said that, the event was sure to etch an indelible impression, considering the magnitude of the show being planned. “The biggest draw of the function will be the presence of legends o Indian film industry under a single roof”, he said.

Besides the President Pranab Mukherjee, chief ministers of four southern states, J. Jayalalithaa, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Siddaramaiah and Oommen Chandy would participate in function.

“All the film related activities, except screening of films in southern part of the country will come to a grinding halt for nearly a week; as every wing will take part in the cine jamboree”, Mr. Kottarakara said.

According to him celebrities including Rajanikanth, Kamal Hassan, Chiranjeevi, Mohan Lal, Mammotty, Ambarish, three star sons of Dr. Rajkumar will take active part in the event. Stars will perform for a song to be composed by either A.R. Rehman or Ilayaraja for the occasion.

Legends of Indian film industry, Amithab Bachchan, Khans and others are expected to participate in the grand finale. Invitation has been extended to Steven Spielberg and Jackie Chan. The event will be beamed on satellite channels of all regional languages and over 150 cameras will capture the event in every angle possible.

Detailing the pattern of the gala event, he said that over 200 legends of Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam film industry would be honoured for their contribution to cinema. Fifty selected legends of Indian film industry will also be felicitated on the occasion.

The event was being held in Chennai, as it was where cinema took birth in southern part of the country. Events of first two days would be held in Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium with a capacity of 12000 people. Malayalam and Tamil Chapters would share four hours each to make presentation on September 22 and Telugu and Kannada industry would l take two slots next day. Grand finale would be held at Nandan auditorium with a capacity of 6000 people, he said.

Third and final day will witness around 8000 artists from all the four industries. Of course, the three day event is meant for film industry and general public are expected to watch live coverage of the events on television. “It is logistically not possible to accommodate over four-lakh people, besides film industry representatives” said Mr. Kottarkar.

To mark the occasion, the Department of Posts was bringing out stamps on 50 legends of South Indian cinema and a centenary building was planned to showcase the growth of film industry in southern part of the country, he said.