Uncertainty over IFFI

| 25 June 2005 19:04 IST

The 36th International Film Festival, scheduled consecutively for the second time in Goa, has become an uncertainty.

“We will not hold IFFI in Goa if the centre does not fully finance the 10-day event”, says chief minister Pratapsing Rane.

The newly elected Congress-led alliance government has taken a tough stand on holding the prestigious film festival, scheduled from 24 December to 4 January.

Rane has severely criticised the decision of his predecessor, former BJP chief minister Manohar Parrikar, for spending Rs 150 crore from the state treasury to build the infrastructure.

Rane believes that the responsibility of creating such huge infrastructure should be borne by the centre and not the state. The local state government beautified the whole Panaji city for the IFFI, besides building INOX multiplex, renovation of the Kala Academy theatre and widening the road along rive Mandovi.

The chief minister has thus decided to give a green signal to this year’s scheduled event only if the centre agrees to bear the additional financial burden of the event, besides actual expenditure of holding the festival.

A delegation of the union information and broadcasting ministry is expected to visit the state next month. Prior to this, Rane plans to meet union information and broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy during his Delhi visit next week.

Goa would move into action for the IFFI only after a formal MoU was signed between the centre and the state, on the lines of one-year MoU signed last year.

“We have not even decided whether the sate information department or the Goa Entertainment Society would organise the festival”, states information secretary Jayashree Raghuraman.

Former chief minister Parrikar however feels that the state government should not miss the opportunity of making Goa a permanent centre for IFFI.

Union minister Reddy, while inaugurating the festival last year, had categorically stated that the decision to make Goa a permanent centre would be taken only after reviewing the performance for two years.

The Bollywood had however strongly stood behind the state government to make Goa a permanent centre. This included top directors like Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Sham Benegal, Dr Jabbar Patel and even film stars like Amitabh Bacchan, Amir Khan, Anil Kapur, Manish Koirala etc.

Though the film industry was found more relaxed in Goa rather than Delhi or Mumbai, the state is yet to provide a well-equipped auditorium for the inaugural ceremony.

Last year, the inaugural ceremony was held in thousand-seater auditorium at Kala Academy, keeping most of the delegates out for want of space. Delegates were however quite happy with the four-screen INOX multiplex, which provides state of the art facilities.

As no headway is being made to build a full-fledged convention centre, the festival will have to be once again inaugurated at the same Kala Academy complex, provided the state government gives its nod for the event.

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