The inaugural function of the 45th International Film Festival of India today was marked by chaos with megastars like Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth getting mobbed by fans even as some foreign delegates were seen “scurrying about” to locate their seats.
The event was held at the newly-built Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium here for the first time, instead of its usual venue.
While celebrities like Bachchan and Rajinikanth were almost mobbed inside the hall after they walked the customary red carpet, police had a tough time dispersing the enthusiastic fans who were jostling with one another to click pictures of their favourite film stars.
The two actors, who were welcomed with a big applause when they arrived inside the stadium, struggled to reach to their designated seats even though Goa police and private security guards struggled with the crowd to make a way for the dignitaries.
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar accompanied Rajinikanth and his wife.
The venue, an indoor stadium with capacity of 10,000 was full to the capacity and special invitees were seen sitting on the floor.
Even a contingent of the Chinese delegates who arrived on time for the event had to sit on the stairs.
Jacky Pang, producer of the Hong Kong film ‘The Grandmaster’ — the closing film for the festival — was seen sitting on the floor along with other crew members.
China is a focus country for the 11-day-long festival.
Such was the “mismanagement” that even IFFI Director Shankar Mohan could not negotiate his way through the crowd to reach to his seat.
He finally stood at the side of the stage to witness the ceremony.
Mohan was also not invited on the stage during the lighting of the lamp, which was attended by lyricist Gulzar, Bachchan, Rajinikanth and Goa Governor Mridula Sinha.
During the event, emcees Anupam Kher and Raveena Tandon were also seen “struggling” to read from the teleprinter installed in front of them as crowd was blocking their view.
The film festival, which got off to a glittering start this evening amid fanfare, was opened by Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley.