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The good, bad and ugly of IFFI 2016

It has been four days that the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is underway. While people – delegates, guests and others have various views about this edition of the film festival which has been reduced to nine days, there were quite a few positives and negatives that are being spoken about

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The mid-fest review of the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was addressed by director of Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), C Senthil Rajan, CEO, Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) Ameya Abhyankar.

Making IFFI inclusive and attractive

Addressing a gathering of media persons, C Senthil Rajan informed that this year has seen an increased number of students at the film festival which is a very positive sign for filmmaking in the country. Abhyankar said that it was wonderful to see a majority of young people attending the festival. He mentioned that IFFI is always a great platform for such young film enthusiasts and students to meet masters of films and understand various film genres.

To a query raised about the discontinuation of the students section in the festival, Rajan and Abhyankar seemed to have the same opinion, that of wanting to bring back the students’ section.

Abhyankar said that they would love to increase and have more sections so as to make the film festival as inclusive as possible. Various initiatives and plans are in the pipeline including having continuous workshops post the festival through collaboration with National Film Archive of India (NFAI) and Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).

He said: “For a great fringe to develop around the festival it will take between 3 to 5 years. We need to have various programmes that are allied to cinema if not core.” He also informed that there would be a possible tie up with the Busan International Film Festival through collaboration between the respective governments of both countries.

He informed the press that the delegation from the Embassy of Korea to India along with Korean business and film delegates called on the Chief Minister of Goa to discuss the possibility of a tie up. “The tie up between Korea and India would be one that’s beneficial for exchange of cinema, production and distribution of cinema and also exchange of knowledge.”

Disgruntled Media

There were concerns raised about the facilities provided to media at the film festival. The issues highlighted were non-availability and delay of accreditation, limited and sub-standard facilities for media.

In fact there were several journalists who got the accreditation after the start of the festival. While Abhyankar pointed out that the job of only printing cards lies with them, and confirmation is the responsibility of Press Information Bureau (PIB), he promised that the next year onwards accreditation for the press would be streamlined to avoid chaos.

He said that he would send a proposal to DFF and PIB that ESG would solely handle accreditation of Goan media, besides suggesting a system of automated approvals of journalists who have been covering the film festival regularly.

Raising the standard

This year while there were about 7,500 delegates who registered for the film festival, only about 4000 people have picked up their cards. Abhyankar said that it isn’t a huge drop while indicating that demonetisation could be one factor. He also believes that delegates have planned travel and the second half of the festival would see an increase, also because the Film Bazaar which happens concurrently ended on Thursday. He seemed happy that the selection of films has been good, along with good occupancy for screenings. He also said that the shuttle service which wasn’t functioning was put in place on day 4, nonetheless.

Senthil was happy that this year there was a huge delegation – 10 film directors from Korea (country focus) for the opening film ‘Afterimage’. He also disclosed that the Closing film ‘Age of Shadows’, which is the official entry from Korea to the Oscars would be attended by the cast and crew on November 28. The chief guest for the Closing ceremony will be director S S Rajamouli of the hit film ‘Bahubali’.

While stating the various initiatives taken like organising workshops, technical sessions, etc, and having laser projectors for screening he said: “IFFI believes in setting trends.” While he said that there were a few hiccups, they have experimented with a new format of nine days which will be reviewed post the festival and may be rolled back to eleven days from next year.

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