The event, however, included some piano and opera performances besides a qawwali. Some of them in the audience complained that the function did not start with 'Tamil Thaai Vaazhthu', the traditional invocation song. However, senior actor and president of South Indian Artistes Association, R Sarathkumar, also an MLA in Tamil Nadu Assembly, sought to douse the situation when he later sung the song to loud applause. He explained the organisers could have gone in for western performances as guests and participants were from across the globe.
The state government had granted Rs 50 lakh for the conduct of the event which is also sponsored by The Hindu and Casa Grande, a real estate promoter, among others. A total of around 160 films will be screened in different theatres in the coming days, including 12 Tamil films.