IFFI to mirror Goa, not Cannes

| 28 November 2004 23:18 IST

``Don’t compare us with the Cannes. We are replicating the success of Cannes, Goa needs not be the replica of Cannes,’’ was how Goa’s chief minister Manohar Parrikar reacted addressing a press conference on the eve of International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

Organised by directorate of film festivals and Information and Broadcasting ministry, the festival is assisted by Entertainment Society of Goa, a semi-government organization. While Goa is talked about as proxy-Cans, the organizers have made it ample clear that this festival will have different identity.

``Goa boasts of its own identity and it would be mirrored in the festival,’’ the chief minister told reporters here..

The 10-day-long film festival will start from tomorrow. It would be inaugurated by veteran actor Dilip Kumar in presence of information and broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy at Kala Academy in Panaji. The inaugural venue is located along the river Mandovi.

A. R. Rehman’s 40 minutes show is the main attraction of the inaugural function which will be followed by screening of Mira Nair’s Vanity Fair.

Bigwigs including Amitab Bacchan, Yash Chopra, Karan Johar, Dev Anand, Censor board chairman Sharmila Tagore, Saira Bano, Shyam Benegal, Javed Akhtar, Mira Nair and others are scheduled to attend the festival. 200 films would be screened in different section of this festival.

Since Goa is holding film festival for the first time, entire state machinery has geared up for the purpose. ``Goa government is spending 7 crores on this event besides 100-odd crores spent on creating the infrastructure,’’ Goa chief minister Parrikar told presspersons.

The chief minister today for the first time admitted having problems with the directorate of film festivals over organizing this festival. ``The problem is speed. We are finding DFF slow. To ensure that we are speedy, we have formed Entertainment society of Goa, which is autonomous body,’’ he said.

Right from the time Goa is talked about as a venue for festival, Parrikar has been facing a question about state’s ability to hold such festival. On asked how the state with tourist culture would hold film festival, Parrikar replied: besides providing the place to sell the films, the festival also expects to provide much mileage to the state in terms of tourism. Goa that receives around 2 million tourists hopes that festival will provide better publicity to the state.

The chief minister also sought to put to rest a question-mark on whether Goa would be a permanent venue for IFFI. ``Information and Broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy is on record terming Goa as permanent venue. Where is the space for doubts,’’ he shot back.

Putting forth a strong case for Goa to be the permanent venue, Parrikar said that the delegates who come down to attend the festival also wants a place to relax. They want to be away from their routine. ``What does the Delhi have to offer besides pollution,’’ he remarked sarcastically.

Speaking about readying the infrastructure in record time of just eight months, the chief minister explained how Asia’s oldest medical college, which was turned into ghost house is now transformed into plush venue for the festival. That too in just 180 days.

Probably for the first time every project is done with proper licencing, he said adding that the government at times enjoys a liberty of availing licence after completing the project.

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