Goa's filmmakers unhappy IFFI provides no forum for local cinema

Panaji, Nov 17 (IANS) Although the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) brings films from around the world to Goa, local filmmakers of the state feel left out from the extravaganza as it does not provide them a platform to feature their work, the Motion Picture Producers Association of Goa said Monday.

"IFFI's short film centre does not even feature a single Goan film despite several entries from local filmmakers. The Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) had promised to start a Goan panorama section to showcase Goan films to the audience this year, but they have not lived up to their promise," Arnaldo D'Costa, the president of the MPPAG, told reporters at a press conference here.

Arnaldo claimed that both the ESG, which is the nodal agency for the organisation of IFFI and the state government had reneged on their promise to enhance state funding for production of films in the local dialects of Konkani and Marathi.

"It is the responsibility of the government to promote films in the local languages. We have had several rounds of meetings with the government and the ESG representatives, but no money is forthcoming," claimed Rohidas Shirodkar, general secretary of the MPPAG.

The MPPAG also has a grouse with the manner in which the ESG has gone about choosing jury members from Goa. "Prasad Gurav and Dr Pramod Salgaonkar have produced just one film each. They have absolutely no experience and yet they are on the jury. The IFFI organisers have no criteria when it comes to the short-listing of jury members," alleged Shirodkar.

The MPPAG has also criticised the Rs.8 million expenditure on cultural side shows which will run simultaneously in various parts of the state as part of the IFFI festival.

"This is a film festival, not a cultural festival. Instead of spending money on cultural troupes, the IFFI organisers should have spent the money on showing quality films on small screens in the rural areas of Goa," Arnadlo said.

The fledgling Goa film industry which the MPPAG represents is pegged at Rs.40 million approximately and produces about 10 films each year in the Konkani and Marathi languages.

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