Mother Teresa International Film Festival took off on a solemn note in Chennai this morning at Don Bosco Auditorium, with Dr. Balasubramaniam – Director, Faculty of Science & Humanities, Sr. Bina Paul, Superior- Missionaries of Charity, Film Directors SS Stanley, Ezhil, Sasi, Saravanan Subbaiah, Ms. Kameela Nasser – Producer and Actress Chandra Lakshmanan declaring open MTIFF 2010. The first day of the festival witnessed a specially chosen crowd – old age people, homeless, physically challenged etc, together with the participation from many schools, institutions run by the Missionaries of Charity.
The festival began with the anthem to Mother Teresa, followed by the words of welcome by the festival director Rev. Fr. Harris. “It is fitting that we honour and pay our humble homage to Mother Teresa and bring alive her memories and her mission through this film festival“ he affirmed. The symbolic lighting of the lamp by all the dignitaries on the dias to keep alive the flame lit by Mother Teresa, set the tone for the festival.
In her message Sr. Beena Paul, the Superior of Missionaries of Charity affirmed that Mother Teresa was an embodiment of love, respecting every person, however small they may be recognizing the presence of God in them. She narrated her experiences with Mother, and how she humbled herself to ask forgiveness for simple things that everyone took for granted, and exhorted everyone to imitate her. “Mother Teresa is a synonym of Love and Peace, and if each one strives to imitate this aspect for atleast a minute each day, they could make a big difference in the society“, said Mrs. Kameela Nasser while addressing the audience.
Dr. Balasubramaniam in a very spirited way expressed his joy in participating in the festival and also giving SRM an opportunity to collaborate with MTIFF. He added, that the unconditional and selfless love of Mother Teresa towards the underprivileged and suffering was something everyone could imitate. Director Saravanan Subbaiah was in his best, quoting his personal experiences reading the life of Mother Teresa from his childhood. “The words of the Bible are very much reflected in the life and mission of this noble woman, and she embraced all sectors of people wholeheartedly with compassion and love“, remarked Saravanan while speaking on his admiration for this great person.
“Helping people who are close to us and good to us is our normal approach, but Mother Teresa went beyond all boundaries of Religion and Race, trying to help people who in no way were help to her, and that is a great lesson to emulate“ stated Director Ezhil. Director Stanley focused his message to the specially challenged, homeless and old people, exhorting them to accept all handicaps and difficulties with a sense of optimism and courage. “Love all, Serve all – let that be our motto“ concluded S.S. Stanley.
Rev. Fr. John Peter, the Joint Director of DBICA proposed the vote of thanks, expressing his gratitude to all the dignitaries and the audience for having chosen to honour Mother Teresa with their time and presence. The screening of MTIFF began with the festival promo followed by the Italian movie Mother Teresa. This long feature film was followed by the projection of a number of films on Mother Teresa screened till late evening. The festival organizer Ms. AC Alathi compeered the sessions very innovatively helping everyone understand the greatness of Mother Teresa and evoking a very participative sharing from the part of the audience. Mother Teresa`s memories were no doubt rekindled and kept alive at the MTIFF 2010.