IFFI to become top festival of the world in five years, says Shankar Mohan

PANAJI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has sectioned Rs 150 million for three theatres to be built at Margao to extend the reach of the International Film Festival of India throughout Goa.

The state government is also contemplating building a convention centre housing at least 4000 people and a discussion centre at Panaji.

Inaugurating the Open Forum organised for the Festival Directorate and the Entertainment Society of Goa by the Federation of Film Societies of India, Goa chief secretary Sanjay Srivastava said the Government is also considering setting up studios for post-production facilities for filmmakers and had already introduced single-window clearance for them. He noted that IFFI has helped in creating a film culture in Goa.

Festival chairman of the steering committee Mike Pandey said Goa could become the cinema hub of the country. He felt that there is no point in making comparisons with Cannes or other Festivals since IFFI has its own identity and should work to become the largest in Asia. The aim is towards inclusive growth involving the government, filmmakers and film-goers. He expressed the hope that the Festival will be able to attract world premieres.

Answering a question about attracting the cine glitterati, he said there is no point in calling people who walked out after formal functions and did not stay to see the films. He wants the film personalities to come and take part in the various activities relating to the Festival.

Noting that IFFI had seen a ‘re-birth‘ this year, Festival Director Shankar Mohan said he expected IFFI to be at the top in five years. He said new sections had been introduced because the aim was to reach out to the younger crowds. This was the reason for the ‘large buffet of sumptuous cinema‘, he said, adding that the vision was to go global.

The IFFI is industry-oriented unlike most other international festivals which are market-oriented, he added.

Answering a question about making films available to people after the festival through DVDs, he said issues relating to the Copyright Act or permissions from the rights holders had to be overcome before this could be done. However, he said DVDs of already-released Indian films were already available in the market.

Entertainment Society of Goa chief executive officer Manoj Srivastava expressed pride that the Festival has a digital films section, noting that he has introduced acceptance of films made in digital format for the National Film Awards almost a decade earlier.

He agreed that there is need to hold road shows or presentations to attract more people in the film industry from all over the country.

FFSI President Narahari Rao said the Directorate should become an umbrella for all other film festivals in the country and help them. There was need to bring in more people from the younger generation.

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