If last year it was the road works that were moving at a snail’s pace and threatened to play spoilsport a week before IFFK, this time around it is the very renovation of the theatres that is keeping the organisers on tenterhooks.
The City Express team that visited the Kalabhavan, Kairali, Sree and the new Nila theatre, which are supposed to be jam-packed in five days’ time, were greeted by wooden logs, vacant halls and scattered equipment. Workers, most of them North Indians, were everywhere, playing their part, to get it all fixed before the deadline. While the organisers, including the KSFDC officials present at the venues, were watching the progress like that of a suspense thriller.
However, KSFDC is fully confident that the work would be finished on time. “We are hundred-per cent confident that the work will be finished on time. The formal inauguration of the renovated Kalabhavan theatre will be conducted on Thursday, at 12:30 pm, by Film Minister K B Ganesh Kumar. The screenings at Kairali, Sree and Nila will start on Friday morning and the formal inauguration of the theatres will be made at 2 pm by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy,’’ said Deepa D Nair, KSFDC Managing Director, who was spearheading the works at the Kairali-Sree-Nila theatre complex when City Express visited.
She said that already the projectors and surround sound system have been placed and the new seats that are ready would be fixed soon. ‘’It is just an overnight job to fix the seats,” she added.
In Kairali and Kalabhavan, the new 7.1 sound surround system has been introduced, while in Nila it will be 5.1 surround system.
No breath analyser
When there are allegations of moral policing on the festival crowd by the Film Minister, Chalachithra Academy has made it clear that it wouldn’t be introducing a breath analyser to catch those who enter film theatres drunk. “It is all just rumour. We don’t have any plans to introduce breath analyser at any venue,” said K Manojkumar, secretary, Kerala Chalachithra Academy.