Chalachithra Academy chairman Ranjith dismissed the protests staged at the closing ceremony of International Film Festival of Kerala. "What we heard were just noises and the jeers should be ignored,” the director said reacting to reports that he was roundly booed at the closing ceremony. The reaction towards Ranjith was a spillover from protests at the venue from a few days ago during the screening of Lijo Jose Pellissery's 'Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam'.
The director told Manorama News that the festival was a huge success. “When it comes to film festivals, we should first give prominence to good films. That has been achieved. And there are people who have managed to see that and are quite satisfied. What we heard weren't jeers, just some noise. Lijo had called me and said he was quite happy to witness the overwhelming response to his film,” he said.
Ranjith said he mentioned about the jeers to Lijo. “He told me to ignore that issue. I have seen 'Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam'. When it releases in theatres everyone can watch it. The academy had personally called those people who couldn’t watch the film even after reserving the tickets. We explained the technical difficulties, took their register numbers, and made sure they watched the next day’s show.” he said.
According to him, those who started the protests had other intentions. “They didn't make all that noise because they wanted to watch the film. But I have nothing against those kids. And the academy didn’t call the police. They came on their own. There weren’t any jeers during the closing ceremony, and no one shooed me away,” Ranjith added.
The chairman also clarified that he did not mean to downplay Lijo Jose's film when he said he would like to see how many people would go to theatres to watch his film. “I didn’t mean Lijo’s film. Earlier when Shyama Prasad’s 'Electra' was screened at the Kairali theatre at the IFFK, people smashed the glass doors to enter the theatre. But when the same film was screened at the same theatre after the film festival was over, there weren’t many people to watch it,” said Ranjith.