Bollywood-Tollywood vote for Go

| 01 December 2004 23:13 IST

From Bollywood to Tollywood, it's everybodys demand: make Goa a permanent venue for the International Film Festival.

Even Mira Nair, the Indian Hollywood filmmaker, has joined them, echoing similar feelings.

"It has all the features a film festival of international repute requires", states Nair.

Whether the producers of commercial films like Yash Chopra and Subhash Ghai or directors of art-related movies like Shyam Benegal or Dr Jabbar Patel, all have unanimously voted for Goa.

"Ah, what a place. Why me alone, the whole Mumbai film industry feels that this is the right location to hold such festivals,"quipped Chopra.

"Its Jungle Mein Mangal. Away from politics and politicians. But there are too many authorities. Keep them away,"suggests Ghai, as a precaution.

Benegal, who has shot Goa extensively in his classics like Bhumika and Trikal, feels its the peaceful environment and hospitable people with cultural talent that has made Goa so attractive for the film industry.

Dr Patel goes a step forward and suggests that the tiny coastal state should also organise other festivals of dance, music, painting, visual art, sculptures, literature and even IT. "Make Goa the multimedia centre, not the film festival alone", he adds.

Ismail Darbar, who is down with his singer wife Aisha, is literally honeymooning in Goa. "How could anybody think of any other place as the permanent venue", he wonders.

Shabana Azmi, the actress-cum-activist, has even appeared in the state government advertisements here, praising the excellent infrastructure built for the festival within a short span. "Goans have proved that they are right choice for the permanent venue", she states.

While her husband and noted lyricist Javed Akhtar also joins her in this endeavour, E Thanagaraj, director of Chennai International Film Festival, feels there cannot be a better place than Goa to hold the festival permanently.

Recalling his experiences of international film festivals for the last 15 years in places like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Trivendrum, he frankly admits that no place has such hi-tech infrastructure blended with equally cool and cultural atmosphere.

The only person who is silent on the issue is central information and broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy. His deliberate silence on the issue in spite of repeated questioning by the media came as a surprise while Kerala and West Bengal are vigorously lobbying to shift the venue to their respective states.

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