Portuguese filmmakers show interest in ‘newly emerging’ Goan film culture

BY RAMNATH N PAI RAIKAR | NT
LISBON: The Portuguese filmmakers are all supportive for a film co-production treaty between Portugal and India, which could help the Goan filmakers to start a new chapter in production of films in co-operation with their Portuguese counterparts, sharing various aspects ranging from finance to scripts.

They also observed that the Portuguese government is receptive to such a treaty.
A number of well-known Portuguese filmmakers including film producer and director, Fernando Vendrell; the owner of Costa do Castelo Filmes, Paulo Trancoso; and the owner of Fado Filmes, Luís Galvão Teles, who attended the inauguration of Goan films at the ongoing Semana da Cultura Indo-Portuguesa, the Indo-Portuguese Cultural Week in Lisbon, Portugal, showed a keen interest in the newly emerging culture of film production in Goa.
Rajendra Talak and Prashanti Talponkar represented Goan film fraternity.
Fernando Vendrell, who had been associated with the 1993 Academy Award winning film in the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category - ‘Belle Époque’ said that Portugal and Brazil have an agreement on film co-production, under which the Brazilian authorities extend support for such co-productions.
“A similar treaty can be worked out between Portugal and India, which can be a new beginning for Indian filmmakers, including those from Goa,” he noted, pointing out that however, a follow-up action should come from political and cultural side of both countries, in this matter.
Speaking further, Mr Vendrell, who has Lisbon-based film enterprise called David & Golias, said that subjects of film co-productions involving filmmakers from Goa and Portugal can be tricky, especially since Goa had become a territory of India from the Portuguese domination, fifty years ago.
“However the film co-production  initiative can establish a bridge in the future between our two countries, which in turn can introduce Goan films to Europe,” he observed, maintaining that cross-cultural productions are initially difficult propositions, but are nevertheless interesting projects.
It was also informed that Portugal produces only 10 to 15 films per year, for its 10 million population, which is comparatively a smaller number.
Paulo Trancoso, who has a film production company and is of Goan origin said that he still carries childhood memories and experiences from Goa.
“And I also have several film projects lying in my desk, all of which together can be combined for the film co-productions between Portuguese and Goan filmmakers,” he noted.
Mr Talak said that his latest film, ‘O Maria’, which narrated the story of land sharks in Goa, had a family protecting their land as well as a old house on it, designed using Portuguese architecture.
“If there is a good story with combination of both, the Goan and the Portuguese culture, then there could be a good co-production film based on the same, which will be appreciated by the people,” he mentioned, informing that the arrival of a major film event in Goa like the International Film Festival of India, has brought film celebrities from Hollywood and rest of the world to Goa, which has been beneficial to the Goan filmmakers.
Ms Talponkar spoke about the film ‘Poltodcho Munis’, in which she played an important character. Stating that the particular film deals with different aspects of humanity including loneliness, she stated that the film was financed by the National Films Development Corporation.
The Portuguese documentary maker, Francisco Veres Machado moderated the deliberation.
After the interaction, the internationally acclaimed Konkani film, ‘Poltodcho Munis’ directed by Laxmikant Shetgaonkar was screened at the venue - Cinemateca theatre.
Created in 1948, the Portuguese Cinemateca is an institution dedicated to the preservation and promotion of cinema, especially the Portuguese cinema.
Due to the antiquity, it had to be completely refurbished in 2003. In addition to the several movie halls, the Cinemateca also offers DVD rooms, new deposits and archives, an impressive bookstore, a library, a restaurant and a renovated cinema museum.
Two other Konkani films, ‘O Maria’ by Rajendra Talak and ‘Jagor’ by Sangram Singh Gaikwad will be screened on October 14 for Portuguese audiences.