The 32nd edition of the International Film Festival of India has been cancelled due to a combination of worsening local weather conditions and the international political situation.
The itinerant festival had been scheduled this year to be held in Bangalore (10-20 Oct) in Karnataka province. But the region has been struck by severe droughts and the local government, which was to co-host and co-finance the event, has ordered it to be cancelled.
The organisers proposed moving the festival to New Delhi, where the last edition was held in January 2000. But the government judged this too dangerous given the events of Sept 11 in the US and the anticipated retaliatory action.
Festival organisers said there was also an "increasing uncertainty of international participation on account of the emerging situation in the region."
B Lenin's Tamil venture Ooruku Nooruper (A Hundred Voices For A Cause) was to be the inaugural film in the feature film category of the Indian Panorama section, for which 30 films, including Lagaan, had been selected for by the 13-member Panorama Jury, headed by chairman Shaji N. Karun,
The jury had also recommended a number of regional and international titles: six English, three Malayalam, two Bengali, and one each in Assamese, Kannada, Marathi and Tamil.
The festival, which hands out Golden Peacock awards, holds a highly-rated competition for Asian films. Last year it ran two sidebars of Indian pictures and a number of retrospectives focused on world cinema regions and the top international directors.