Utpal Borpujari

December 1, 2008

IFFI Tug-of-War

The tug-of-war between the Centre and the Goa government over the ‘ownership’ of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) seems to have reached serious proportions with both sides staking claims over the brand. 

While the Goa government has announced that the aim is convert it into the “Goa International Film Festival”, the Centre has countered the contention, saying if such a move was initiated, IFFI would move out of Goa. 

“If the state decides to have Goa film festival or some other international film festival, the venue will be shifted to Delhi or some other city,” S M Khan, director, Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) which is under the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, said on Sunday. 

The comment apparently came in response to Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat’s announcement during the opening ceremony of 39th IFFI on Saturday that “our ultimate aim is to make it the Goa International Film Festival”. 

The tussle over control between DFF and Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), Goa government’s wing to co-short IFFI, has been continuing since 2004, when the festival moved to its permanent venue in Goa, but this is the first time that both sides have taken such strident positions. 

As a result of the tussle, ESG-initiated Short Film Center programme, being held concurrently with IFFI, is not part of the festival, while the ESG-curated Indian Premieres section of IFFI finds no mention in the festival catalogues. 

Khan, in response to queries on the programming of the festival, also said that “it is better if the programming remains with DFF”. ESG has this time programmed three sections – the Indian Premieres, the retrospective of Hollywood filmmaker John Landis and the Iran country focus. 

((Published in Sakaal Times, www.sakaaltimes.com, http://epaper.sakaaltimes.com, 24-11-2008)

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