Leader of the Opposition in Goa Assembly Digambar Kamat questioned the absence of Konkani films in the Indian Panorama section of this year’s edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), to be held in the state from 20 to 28 November. On 8 October (Tuesday), he demanded that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant intervene and ensure that Goan films are screened in the official section of the 50th edition of the event.
Here is Digambar Kamat’s tweet
Unfortunate that not one Goan Cinema is part of Indian Panorama of @IFFIGoa. I urge @goacm to intervene, reminding him that ESG had 5 official programming sections of IFFI during my @INCGoa Govt. & then @INCIndia Govt. had given us ‘Goa on Celluloid’ section to screen Goan films
— Digambar Kamat (@digambarkamat) October 8, 2019
Kamat said when he was the state’s chief minister and chairman of the ESG, films by Goan film-makers were screened in the official section of IFFI.
“Goa government and Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) must take up this issue with Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) and demand that Goan films are included in the official category of IFFI 2019, failing which I will not hesitate to agitate and stage demonstrations along with all Goan film makers during the forthcoming edition of the IFFI,” Kamat had said, according to Indo-Asian News Service.
Goa has hosted the festival since 2004, when Manohar Parrikar was chief minister. In 2014, the coastal state was declared as the permanent venue for hosting IFFI.
The Congress has also demanded a white paper on benefits received by Goa, specially the local film industry, by hosting the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in the state since 2004.
It said the BJP-led Goa government should review its role in organising the mega event, which, according to the opposition party, has “not brought any benefits to the state in last 15 years” even as there have been huge expenses on creating infrastructure for the festival.
The Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG-the nodal agency set up by government to host IFFI) has “absolutely no role” in decision-making during organisation of the festival, despite the state spending almost Rs 40 crore to Rs 50 crore every year on the mega event, Goa Congress spokesperson Swati Kerkar claimed on 9 October (Wednesday).
“We demand that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who is also the chairman of ESG, immediately release a white paper on the overall benefits received by Goa, and more particularly the Goan film fraternity, from IFFI in last 15 years,” she said.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)