It was nearly touch-and-go at the 42nd International Film Festival Of India that began in Goa on Tuesday. An emergency meeting was called by the Film Federation Of India (FFI) where they decided to boycott the festival after FFI chairperson TP Aggarwal was not invited to be present on stage during Wednesday's opening ceremony. A reliable source said, this decision was greeted with much embarrassment, since many including Shah Rukh Khan, who was to inaugurate the festival, had already reached Goa to attend the festival.
Apparently, some dignitaries were even asked to return to Mumbai. "We were up most of Tuesday night to sort out the deadlock. The FFI was very clear that if the chairperson was not invited on stage, the industry would have to back out. Shah Rukh and many others had taken time off to be in Goa. A boycott would have been very embarrassing," said the source.
However, barely hours before the opening ceremony, the matter was sorted out after the organisers agreed to have Agarwal on stage.
"It was argued that for the last 30 years, the Chairperson has been part of the occasion, and a sudden and uncalled-for change in this long-standing protocol is as an insult to the film industry. Personally, I was not in favour of the boycott. Fortunately, the matter was sorted out," said Agarwal.