No consensus among organisers on scale of IFFI’s main events

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Panaji: The directorate of film festivals (DFF), a co-organiser of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), has informed its film festival partner, the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), about the need to tone down the glitz of this annual event to be inaugurated in Panaji on January 16, 2021, just as the state government is keen on maintaining the grandeur of the IFFI.

The 51st edition of the film festival, which was scheduled to be held this month, has been postponed to the beginning of the next year, and will be now held from January 16 to January 24.

A highly placed government official informed ‘The Navhind Times’ that the DFF is keen to have the inaugural as well as the closing function of the IFFI 2021 at Kala Academy, without any fanfare or glamorous décor for the stage.

“The ESG, however, wants to hold the opening as well as the closing ceremony of the film festival at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee stadium as is being done since past some years, with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant proposing the same,” he stated.

A top official of the ESG, confirming the same said that if the opening and the closing events of the IFFI 2021 are held at Kala Academy, they would look mundane with the limitations of the stage, with millions of people witnessing these events via live streaming.

“We will not compromise with the standard of the IFFI, this year,” the ESG official stated, adding that all the COVID-19 related guidelines would, however, be followed stringently. “We will have best of the décor at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee stadium for IFFI 2021, but that does not mean the stadium would be full of people,” the official informed, pointing out that even if 500 people attend the inaugural and closing functions, millions world over will enjoy it through live streaming.

The ESG official also expressed surprise over the decision of the DFF to have a simple film festival this time. “On one hand, the DFF wants to do away with all the glamour of the annual event and curtail its own expenditure, while on the other, it has submitted to the ESG a long list of invitees and guests, who would be arriving in Goa for IFFI,” the official revealed, adding that the DFF has demanded 1,400 room nights for guests towards accommodation, during the festival period as well as transportation for them, as was done during past film festivals.

It was informed that the ESG has started the tendering process for various IFFI-related works and would have all such agencies on board by December 15, 2020, so that it has one month for the execution of the awarded works.

The ESG also does not agree with the suggestion of the DFF that this year, the opening as well as the closing ceremony of the film festival should be organised only with the participation of the localartistes.

“The registration for the film festival has already begun and around 572 delegates have registered during the first three days,” informed the ESG official, further stating that as of now the IFFI 2021 will be held as per the schedule. However, one cannot predict the corona pandemic situation in Goa, in December 2020 and January 2021, on which the future of the film festival would depend.

Meanwhile, the ESG has floated e-tenders for IFFI 2021 pertaining to vehicle operators, open air screenings at Miramar Beach and Joggers Park, artistic service for ideation/ conceptualisation/ creation/ designing/ fabrication/ erection/ installation for full décor and other allied activities, supply of chemical toilet/ bio digesters, installation/ testing/ commissioning of digital cinema projectors, signages, security services, appointment of PR agency and so on.

Furthermore, open tenders have also been floated for festival hotels, Open Forum infrastructure, lighting in the INOX courtyard, supply of laptops and so on.

The Ministry for Information and Broadcasting has already announced that the 51st edition of the film festival would be conducted in a hybrid format that is in virtual and physical format.