Goa's cinematic paradox: Feting local talent amidst neglect

State government should focus on making existing schemes functional and accessible to talented local artistes instead of projects like Film City
FILMY PARADOX: Goa is brimming with talent that is being recognised outside the State despite absence of local institutional support.
FILMY PARADOX: Goa is brimming with talent that is being recognised outside the State despite absence of local institutional support.

The flourishing talent within Goa's film industry, exemplified by individuals like Dhruv Sincro and Barkha Naik, is remarkable. Despite limited institutional support, these artistes have made significant strides in both national and international arenas.

However, the paradox lies in the fact that while Goan filmmakers and actors are earning accolades, the systemic support needed to foster and sustain this talent remains conspicuously absent. We seem to be adamant about just building the film city and nothing related to it.

FILMY PARADOX: Goa is brimming with talent that is being recognised outside the State despite absence of local institutional support.
With 'Salt', young Barkha carves her niche

CELEBRATING GOAN TALENT

Dhruv Sincro's journey from Margao to the silver screen in Kalki 2898 AD is a testament to the potential harboured within Goa. Playing a guard alongside industry giants like Deepika Padukone, Dhruv's performance has garnered attention and praise, and deservingly so.

Similarly, Barkha Naik's success with her Konkani short film, Salt, which won the Best Short Fiction Film award at the 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) 2024, highlights the burgeoning talent in Goan cinema. Her film, which explores the dynamics of a home in the absence of a mother, resonates deeply with audiences, showcasing her storytelling prowess and directorial finesse (Salt is a must-watch, go watch it if you haven’t). 

FUNDING WOES: The State has one of the best schemes but has slipped in its implementation.
FUNDING WOES: The State has one of the best schemes but has slipped in its implementation.

Miransha Naik, another prominent figure in Goan cinema, has also made significant contributions. His films, despite budget constraints and challenges in casting, have left a mark on both national and international platforms. However, these talented individuals face difficulties arising from the systemic issues plaguing the Goan film industry.

 LACK OF INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT

While the achievements of these filmmakers and actors are commendable, there is a lack of institutional support for the film industry in Goa. The State boasts one of the best film schemes on paper, but the implementation leaves much to be desired.

FILMY PARADOX: Goa is brimming with talent that is being recognised outside the State despite absence of local institutional support.
Establish a film culture in Goa before developing a film city

Filmmakers lament the fact that despite promises, they have not received any financial support for their projects. This lack of funding forces many to move to Hindi cinema, leaving the regional film industry struggling to survive.

The Goa government's proposed Film City project, intended to bolster the local film industry, has met with resistance from the community, particularly in Loliem village.

Concerns about environmental degradation, inadequate local resources and the displacement of local populations have led to widespread opposition. The project's potential to exploit community land for personal gain further worsens these fears.

Filmmakers lament the fact that despite promises, they have not received any financial support for their projects.

A CALL FOR GENUINE SUPPORT

Instead of impressive projects like the Film City, there is an urgent need for practical and effective measures to support Goan filmmakers. The government must focus on making existing schemes functional and accessible to local artistes. Financial support, coupled with initiatives to promote regional cinema, is crucial.

The International Film Festival of India (IFFI), held in Goa since 2004, was envisioned as a platform to boost the local film industry. However, its impact has been underwhelming. Despite the presence of IFFI, the benefits for Goan filmmakers remain limited.

SIDE ROLE: Many international and national film festivals held in Goa often shove local and Goan filmmakers to the margins.
SIDE ROLE: Many international and national film festivals held in Goa often shove local and Goan filmmakers to the margins.

The festival's Bollywood-centric selection often sidelines local films, and Goan filmmakers face challenges in participating and gaining recognition. And even if they get some recognition it does nothing good for them. 

PROMOTING LOCAL CINEMA

Reiterating the fact that we ought to create a film culture and then learn to sustain it, these steps would help us march towards this goal.

Financial support: The government must not just promise but also ensure that financial schemes for filmmakers are not just on paper but are actively implemented. Grants, subsidies and low-interest loans can provide much-needed relief to struggling filmmakers.

FILMY PARADOX: Goa is brimming with talent that is being recognised outside the State despite absence of local institutional support.
Miransha Naik's focus is making bold, dark films in Konkani

Infrastructure development: Instead of Film City, the focus should be on developing smaller, accessible studios and post-production facilities across the State. This would make it easier for local filmmakers to produce and edit their films without incurring exorbitant costs.

Film literacy and education: Establishing film clubs, organizing workshops and incorporating film studies into the educational curriculum can cultivate a deeper appreciation for cinema among Goans.

Instead of Film City, the focus should be on developing smaller, accessible studios and post-production facilities across the State.

This will help in nurturing future filmmakers and audiences who are discerning and supportive of local content.

Promotion and distribution: The government should facilitate the distribution of Goan films in both national and international markets. Film festivals dedicated to Konkani and Marathi cinema can provide a platform for local filmmakers to showcase their work.

Goa's film industry is teeming with talent, as evidenced by the accomplishments of varied actors and filmmakers. However, the lack of institutional support hampers the growth and sustainability of this talent.

FILMY PARADOX: Goa is brimming with talent that is being recognised outside the State despite absence of local institutional support.
This Konkani film, based on the life of Blessed Carlo Acutis, is made in Goa

The government's focus should shift from grand projects like the Film City to practical measures that provide financial, infrastructural and promotional support to local filmmakers.

By fostering a nurturing environment for cinema, Goa can ensure that its rich cultural heritage is preserved and celebrated through the medium of films. The achievements of Goan filmmakers and actors are a testament to their resilience and passion; it is high time that their efforts are matched with genuine support from the State.

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