IFFI competition should strive for premiere films: Dan Wolman

PANAJI: International Jury member Dan Wolman feels the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) should strive at getting only new films that have not been to other festivals for its competition section.

Films which have won awards at other festivals can be screened in the World Cinema section, he said, taking part in the last Open Forum at the current Festival on ‘Success of Film Festivals: Quality of films‘.

He wanted IFFI to take pride for what it had achieved, instead of always trying to compare itself with Cannes or Berlin. He said IFFI is already one of the top festivals of the world, but a lot has to be done to take it to the very top. He said the ambience is good, the selection is very good, and there is no reason why India should not be able to attract the best films from the world over particularly as it has such high prize money.

He felt that delegates from overseas should work as some kind of ambassadors for IFFI when they go back, and the Indian missions could also play a major role in this respect.

He said film culture can grow if cinema studies are introduced at the school or college levels, and wanted the IFFI Secretariat to invite the best in the world for master classes or workshops.

Renowned filmmaker AK Bir who is also a member of the Steering Committee said Festivals are voyages of discovery and one get to see films made in the cultural milieu of their country of origin.

Eminent filmmaker Laxmikant Shetgaonkar regretted that there is little representation of India in foreign film festivals. But he wanted to know if India should replicate Cannes or have its own identity. The aim should be to use the festival to improve the quality of Indian films.

Referring to media reports, he said not getting enough sponsors is no reason for shifting the Festival from Goa.

Referring to some complaints, he said the IFFI this year is in a changing phase having been separated from the Directorate of Film Festivals. Furthermore, the local arrangements are the responsibility of the Entertainment Society of Goa. He agreed that the ESG should take films to other parts of the state.

Both he and U Radhakrishnan who moderated the Open Forum said there should be a separate section for Konkani cinema.

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