Wednesday, November 30, 2005 11:08 IST
Cinelovers from India and abroad made a beeline for the screening of filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor's Iqbal at the 36th International Film Festival of India here.
Several people had to be turned away from last night's screening as the auditorium was jampacked and even the aisles had been filled to capacity.
Iqbal, along with Malayalam film Perumazhakkalam are the two Indian entries in the running for the Golden Peacock Award in the competition section of the festival.
Speaking to reporters, Kukunoor said he was keeping his fingers crossed over the film's chances of winning the prestigious award.
"Being chosen as one of the two Indian entries in the competition for IFFI is an honour in itself," the filmmaker said, adding he was overwhelmed by the audience response at
Kukunoor's saga of a deaf-mute village boy's struggle to make it to the Indian cricket team recently achieved the rare double of box-office success and critical acclaim.
Lead actor Shreyas Talpade said he was pleased by the response his films Iqbal and Vishal Bhandhari's Hangman got at the film festival.
For thespian Girish Karnad, the film's critical and commercial success have come as a surprise.
"While shooting for it, I knew it was a good film but did not expect it to get such acclaim," he said.
Commenting on Rahul Dholakia's controversial film which had evoked a strong reaction from certain spectators on Saturday, Karnad said such criticism was welcome and
film festivals were the right form to express it.
"In fact, I had resigned as the chairperson of the Mumbai International Film Festival jury when certain films on the Gujarat riots were banned. You cannot control things by
banning films," he said.
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