Convention centre, cinema theatres for IFFI on govt agenda

PANAJI: Stating that the Goa government during the past seven years did not show any inclination towards improving infrastructure for the annual International Film Festival of India (IFFI) taking place in the state, the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar on Sunday announced that a large convention centre as well as more cinema theatres around the city are on the agenda of his government, as a part of future expansion of the IFFI infrastructure.

Addressing the media during his visit to the 2,900-seater, air-conditioned hanger being constructed at the Dayanand Bandodkar football stadium as the venue for the opening as well as closing ceremony of the film festival, Mr Parrikar said that his government would, however, not spend a rupee on the construction of these new theatres. "I have no money to spend on the construction of theatres," he added, pointing out that if anyone is willing to construct these theatres, then his government would definitely work out some financial incentives for the investors such as refunding of the entertainment tax and so on.

Mr Parrikar is widely known as the architect of the first International Film Festival of India held in Goa, which was a grand success. The Congress government had taken over the state administration by the time the second IFFI was held in Goa in the year 2005. Mr Parrikar now returns as the Chief Minister, after organisation of eight film festivals in Goa.

Speaking further, Mr Parrikar said that he cannot guarantee completion of the convention centre for the opening as well as closing ceremony of IFFI, by next year. "But the work for the same will definitely start by the next year," he said.

The Chief Minister also said that all preparations have been completed for the 11-day film festival beginning in the city on November 20. "The Collector has also imposed Section 144 in the city in the interest of the law and order situation during this period," he said.

Meanwhile, the jury theatre has been readied at the Kala Academy for the jury members, who would be deciding the top winners among the entries under the Competition Section at the International Film Festival of India 2012. The winners would be awarded Golden and Silver Peacocks along with impressive cash awards.

The chairman of the Kala Academy, Mr Vishnu Wagh said that seven spacious chairs with writing and communication facilities have been especially installed for the seven jury members of the Competition Section. "We want to make film watching a comfortable experience for these juries," he said.