TAMIL NADU

A missed opportunity three times over

BANGALORE, JAN. 20. He is proud but poor. Though, P.Sheshadri, director of award-winning film, ``Munnudi'', received invitations from at least three international film festivals, he could not attend any one of them. Nor does he hope to attend the forthcoming Philadelphia Film Festival in March, for which his film has been selected. He has been invited to attend the festival.

Mr. Seshadri's heart, no doubt, may have jumped with joy, when he received invitations from organisers of international film festivals, during the last few months. But he was soon to realise that he does not possess the kind of money required to personally attend the film festivals, and make a presentation on his film.

Thus, he has missed three international opportunities in a row. First, it was the Walker Arts Film Festival in America, to attend which he needed at least Rs.45,000 towards the flight charges. The money is almost equal to the total expenditure involved in the production of his path-breaking film.

Then came the offer from the Flanders Film Festival of Belgium. Mr. Sheshadri had to drop the idea of visiting Ghent for the same reason. So was the case with the Palm Springs International Film Festival of California, which concluded on Sunday.

The organisers of all these festivals offered to provide two-day hospitality during the screening of his film at these festivals. Before the screening of the film, the producers of the films are called on to the stage, where they could make a brief presentation about their endeavours.

No small opportunity. Many would spend all of their lifetime to receive such a chance. Lady luck smiled on Mr. Sheshadri thrice. However, on each occasion he could not mobilise the money required.

Mr. Sheshadri told The Hindu that his attempts to get assistance from the State Government and efforts to gain reductions from Air India had failed to materialise.

Even the Directorate of Film Festivals, New Delhi, expressed its inability to help him.

Though he approached a couple of private sponsors to help him out, he did not succeed.

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