Panaji, Nov 23 (UNI) Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi today said megastar Amitabh Bachchan's status as an icon of the Indian film industry was unchallenged.
The remark was provoked by a question from mediapersons whether Bachchan has been invited for the 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) beginning here today.
''I wonder why this question is raked up by you every time. He was recently given the national award for best actor. He is not an icon here but the face of the film industry abroad,'' Mr Dasmunsi asserted.
Meanwhile, Amitabh starrer English film 'The Last Lear' directed by noted Bengali film-maker Rituparno Ghosh is slated for a special screening at the festival here.
The Directorate of Film Festival (DFF) officials, when asked whether Amitabh would be attending the special screening, said that it was upto the director to invite his cast and crew and they were always welcome.
''Any film personality is free to come to the festival. But, for the chief guest, only one person can be invited at a time,'' officials said.
The Last Lear stars Preity Zinta and Arjun Ramphal among others.
Two years ago, it was reported that the then Chief Minister Pratapsing Rane had invited Amitabh Bachchan to be the chief guest at the IFFI but he had to withdraw the invitation when the DFF objected. However, Mr Rane had clarified that he had invited him to attend the festival and the decision on who should be the chief guest lay with the DFF.
Significantly, Bachchan visited Goa on the inaugural day of IFFI in 2005, but did not come to the festival venue.