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South Cinema made important

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Monday, June 19, 2006
New Delhi (UNI): For once, the focus at the IIFA was not on Bollywood alone as a host of films from the stable of South Indian Industry shared the limelight at a festival of Indian films, which came to a close at Dubai last night. Bollywood films like 'Veer Zaara', 'Salaam Namaste', 'Bunty Aur Babli', Parineeta, 'Bluffmaster' featured alongside regional films like Rituparno Ghosh's 'Antar Mahal', 'Pokhari', Chandramukhi', 'Tagore' and 'Dombivali Fest' at the second edition of the IIFA film festival, held at the Grand Multiplex in Dubai. The festival, which kicked off on June 15 with the screening of the Tamil film 'Chandramukhi' featured 32 Indian films, including 16 in Hindi, 14 South Indian, 1 Bengali and 1 Marathi in addition to 6 short films. The cast and the crew of the films screened at the festival attended the respective screenings, IIFA sources told UNI.

According to Sabas Joseph of Wizcraft International limited, the organisers of IIFA, this is the first time that South Indian films occupied equal space with Bollywood films at the international event. ''The focus this year was on South Indian cinema perhaps in recognition of the huge potential of these films. This is perhaps why a number of stars from the world of South Indian cinema, including South Superstar Prabhu and P Vasu, the director of Tamil film Chandramukhi, were invited to attend the event'' Sabas said.

Talking to the media earlier this week, superstar Amitabh Bachchan, the IIFA Brand Ambassador, said it had always been the endeavour of IIFA to represent Indian cinema and not concentrate on Hindi movies alone. Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Bachchan said contrary to public perception that the Hindi film industry was the largest, it was in fact the Telugu film industry from Andhra Pradesh that made the most movies. ''In fact even financially and commercially, Telugu and Tamil cinema is far ahead of Hindi cinema,'' Bachchan said. In fact, the film 'Dombivali Fest' made waves at the recent Indian film Festival of Los Angeles in the US. Further, the Tamil film 'Chandramukhi' did far greater business compared to any Bollywood blockbuster, Sabas said.

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