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Gaiety Theatre to host Indian Panorama of intn’l film fest

Shimla will play host to the Indian Panorama of this year’s International Film Festival in May...

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Shimla |
February 3, 2009 10:59:27 pm

Restoration of theatre to be done by March; festival in May

Shimla will play host to the Indian Panorama of this year’s International Film Festival in May,during which India’s best and award-winning films will be screened at Gaiety Theatre’s newly-built auditorium. The film festival will be held in Goa.

As the 110-year-old Gaiety Theatre’s conservation work enters its final phase,this will be a befitting event to showcase the theatre in all its glory.

This is for the first time that the Directorate of Film Festivals,Government of India,has selected Shimla as the venue to screen films in the Indian Panorama of the annual film festival. Earlier,the

Indian Panorama was organised in Chennai,Mumbai and Kolkata.

Confirmed Ramsubhag Singh,Secretary,Information and PR,“A proposal to hold the Indian Panorama of the International Film Festival was sent to the Centre by state’s Chief Secretary Asha Swaroop,who till recently was secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B). The proposal was accepted and a decision taken to hold the event in Shimla. We have received official conformation about holding the mega event in May.”

The plan for restoration of Gaiety dates back to the 1980s,when Ved Segan — well-known as the architect of Prithvi Theatre — carried out the first technical surveys and recommended urgent restoration and repair. Earlier,the INTACH and state government agencies have been looking for support,which ultimately came from the Centre’s tourism ministry and other agencies.

“We have expedited the work. Both the theatres — the original and another coming up on the first floor — will be ready before March. I have already assured the Chief Secretary that things will be done well within time to facilitate hosting of the Indian Panorama of the festival,” said B.K.Aggarwal,Secretary,Language,Art and Culture. So far,the government has spent about Rs 9 crore on the conservation work of the theatre.

During the event,Shimla is expected to see some leading film personalities,including directors,producers and stars,to add colour to the event. This is also expected to coincide with hosting of the

International Shimla Summer Festival-a week-long cultural event.

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