Berlin, Feb 13 (Calcutta Tube) Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘My Name is Khan’, which is being targeted in Mumbai by the right-wing Shiv Sena, were sold out in five seconds at the Berlin International Film Festival. Fans had not slept all night to keep their places in the queue despite the sub-zero temperature in Berlin.
Those who arrived at 6 a.m. were in tears. The online tickets for the superstar’s own people who phoned the Berlinale authorities five minutes after ticketing opened were told they were way too late. The film’s tickets were auctioned on e-Bay for 1,000 euros (about Rs.60,000) each.
Jenny Watkinson, assigned the ‘Shah Rukh Khan department’ in the International Relations office of Dieter Kosslick, Berlin film festival director, told IANS: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it. This year it’s expected to be even bigger than in 2008 (during ‘Om Shanti Om’). The online tickets for ‘My Name is Khan’ were sold out in five seconds.’
The film premieres in Berlin Friday with a red carpet at the prestigious Berlinale Palast theatre on Potsdamer Platz.
Everyone was wondering if Shah Rukh Khan and team would be in Berlin, given that the anti-Muslim Shiv Sena vandalised Mumbai theatres where advance bookings of the film opened because Shah Rukh said that Pakistani players should also participate in the Indian Premier League.
The film’s screening has police protection in Berlin. Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and diretor Karan Johar are here for the premiere of the film.
India has much reason to celebrate at the Berlin International Film Festival here as the country has a historic nine feature films in the Berlinale. This is the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Film Festival, that opens Thursday and runs from Feb 11-21.
(Meenakshi Shedde is India Consultant to the Berlin Film Festival and curator for film festivals worldwide. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)