A day after the grand inauguration of 24th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), which was promised to be a grand event, the first show on Sunday at New Empire Cinema theatre that screened a Turkish film Sibel turned out to be a damp squib as the film rolled without any subtitle.
The first two shows in one of the city multiplexes have been cancelled, drawing severe criticisms from the audience.
The KIFF, this year, quite apparently began on a disappointing note after the first show at 1.00 p.m. in New Empire which drew flak from the audience who criticised and blamed the hall authorities of inefficiency and irresponsibility after the movie Sibel by Guillaume Giovanetti, an international competition entry film, was screened in Turkish, a language unknown to the native audience and others gathered at the hall.
The film which had a duration of 95 mins left the viewers with blank faces as they tried to deduce the dialogues from the expressions while shouting at every second, demanding that the projection of the film be stopped and played again with English subtitles. The constant bickering and the complaints of the audience, however, fell on deaf ears of the movie authorities who did not stop the screening and continued with the same.
Ms Sanchari Chakraborty, one of the viewers, complained: “This is disappointing, especially at a time when the organisers went onto say that this year will be the biggest ever KIFF. We stand in long queues to get passes and there are many who come from far off places just for the love of cinema.”
A film student criticising the authorities, said: “Our world revolves around cinema. We wait for this one event every year and for us it is the biggest festival compared to all others. We have to shell out a lot when we make films for practicals and yet we don’t mind paying for the delegate passes though it becomes an expensive affair for us. We expected the authorities of, both KIFF and the movie theatre, to follow the minimum protocols before screening critically acclaimed international films.”
The mismanagement of the authorities not only left the citizens annoyed but also made a mark of utter disappointment among foreigners who have come to the city to witness KIFF which is also projected by the state government as a tourist attraction.
A foreigner, Mr Edward Wilkins, apparently annoyed at the state of affairs, said: “This is my first film at KIFF and I am going back with a bitter experience. There was utter chaos inside the theatre as film enthusiasts started protesting against the utter mismanagement. Even after repeatedly asking the theatre authorities to put a pause to the film and replay it with subtitles, no steps were taken. I hope the remaining days of the festival are smooth without any glitches. ”
The hall authorities refused to comment on the matter. Meanwhile, the first two shows of KIFF at a city multiplex that was to screen Climax by Gaspar Noe at 2.00 p.m. and The House that Jack Built by Lars Von Trier at 4.00 p.m., got cancelled, leaving the viewers dejected.