52nd IFFI: 'Konkani cinema had become alien in our own home'

It seems that ex-CM Manohar Parrikar's dreams for IFFI remains unfulfilled.
IFFI 2021 in Goa
IFFI 2021 in GoaGT Team

By Kishor Arjun

When Manohar Parrikar brought the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to Goa 17 years ago , there was a stark difference between his overall expectations and today's reality. He was of the view that cine culture should be inculcated in Goa and through it the best movies should be produced here and at the same time Goa should have a special identity in the international cinema circles. But if we take a moment to glance away from all the glamour we see at the festival, it would seem that Parrikar's dream remains unfulfilled.

In Goa, IFFI brought cinema to the villages, but which films did they bring exactly exactly? The government had the opportunity to bring local Konkani movies to the village through IFFI, but they never seized that opportunity. Instead, international films were given an advantage over local films without even contemplating the fact the common village folks may not be able to decipher foreign languages. Due to this, Konkani cinema had become alien in our own home.

Inspite of this, various local filmmakers are making great movies by overcoming many obstacles in our state. IFFI should give these filmmakers and their films a place of honor on the international stage. They should be encouraged to make more movies.

Goa Entertainment Society(ESG) looks at IFFI as an annual festival. Though, there is potential for this organization to do some cinema related programs throughout the year. But no one pays attention to it. The same goes for the cine grant scheme which was introduced by the government in 2016. No one knows what happened to this scheme in the last five years. No filmmaker has been heard of receiving money from this scheme. In fact, the ESG should decide that Sanugrah grants should be given to the best movies produced in Goa, as well as, organise special events for the movies in Goa as well as in other states. Also, special time for Konkani cinema should be reserved in all cinema theatres in the state. The more the government encourages new filmmakers, the more the film industry in the state will be encouraged.

The actual screenplay for 'DiCosta House' was written 3 years ago. We were planning to make a Hindi movie on this. But in the meanwhile Corona came and all the math went wrong. So we decided to make this movie in Konkani. We took the concept of cinema to producer Dr. Pramod Salgaonkar, who liked the story very much and gave us the green light to start making the movie. In the corona period, where many people kept their film projects incomplete for various reasons, Dr. Pramod Salgaonkar, however, stood firm with us. Today, when the movie is finished and is releasing in the premiere section at IFFI, I am very proud to say that the team behind 'DiCosta House' is 99 percent Goans. All the actors and technicians in this movie are Goans. The only time we ventured out was for the movie's sound production which was done in Mumbai.

Kishor Arjun is a Goan filmmaker.

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