Centre monopolising national film festivals: Basu
By Our Special Correspondent
The fifth Calcutta Film Festival began here on Wednesday with the Chief Minister, Mr. Jyoti Basu, criticising the Centre for monopolising the prestigious national film festivals.
Inaugurating the annual film festival at the Nandan auditorium, Mr. Basu said he was surprised to learn that the Central Government had barred other States from hosting national film festivals.
“When we are talking of decentralisation, the Centre is enforcing such decisions on us,” he commented.
He would discuss the issue with the Prime Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, when he met him in New Delhi on November 20.
Those who were present on the occasion were Mr. Buddhadev Bhattacharya, Information and Cutural Affairs Minister, the festival's chief guest, the well-known Italian filmmaker, Mr. Gillo Pontecarvo, and directors Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen and Goutam Ghosh.
During the week-long event, at least 170 films would be screened.