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How did IFFI go? The writing is on the wall

By Frederick Noronha, IANS

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Just read the writing on the wall for a verdict on how Goa fared as host to the 35th International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

"Well done Parrikar my friend," said one message scribbled hurriedly by a Satish on one of the many graffiti walls set up at the venue of the film festival that concluded Thursday.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar got kudos from others too. "Hon CM sir, keep it up. IFFI is a festival which has brightened Goa," said a message.

Wrote another cineaste: "Beautiful festival. We should only do it here (in Goa) and only here."

There were others which continued on a similar note: "Congratulations Goa Film Festival"; "Remarkable"; "Good entertainment free of cost, thanks Goa".

But there were many others unhappy with the way the festival, which comes back here next year, was conducted.

"Goa (is) the worst choice for IFFI as a permanent venue," went one by a "a film critic from Delhi".

Someone else wrote more cryptically: "Cineastes, cinephiles, cine buffs of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your jobs."

One word of caution that went out read: "Good effort, hard work, well attended. But the selection of films deserves more betterment (sic)."

Commented another film buff, identifying herself as Rashmi: "(It's the) worst screening I've ever attended as a festival. Pretty girls, smart red T-shirts and walkie-talkies are not enough. A festival is essentially about films and their screenings, which is very bad here."

Though this was clearly a prestige event for the state government, which went all out to make it a success, the festival also led to a lot of resentment amongst locals who said what they really needed was electricity and water, not a film festival.

Making the coastal state a permanent venue has been an emotive issue. It was mooted by the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government which envisaged IFFI as another Cannes.


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