Director of Directorate of Film Festivals, Shankar Mohan addressing the mid-fest press conference on November 25 spoke at length about the festival so far.
Replying to the several complaints about too many films being screened at IFFI this year, Mohan said: “There is fierce competition amongst all film festivals being held around the same time as the 45th International Film Festival of India for which reason I felt the need to latch on to all the outstanding films that came my way.” He also said that though the choosing films as an exercise begins months in advance, the main criteria are quality and country. “In this respect, we have a brilliant catch of films this year.”
Answering the question about too many delegates viz-a-viz less seating capacity, Shankar Mohan agreed that this was indeed a problem with number of delegates pegged at 13500 this year and seating capacity a mere 2500.
“Now that Goa has been made a permanent venue for IFFI, infrastructure investment will happen, and soon there will be a festival complex with double the seating arrangement”, said Mohan, who was not in favour of reducing the number of delegates.
On being asked to reveal names of celebrities who will be attending the closing ceremony, the director, who didn’t wish to reveal names, said that they are waiting for confirmation from the stars. There have also been several complaints about the decrease in the number of foreign guests and filmmakers at this year’s IFFI. “Though there are 178 foreign films, we took the conscious decision of not inviting too many foreign guests and filmmakers due to non availability of hotel rooms due to the exposition rush”, he said.
Anurag Kashyap had made a statement in ‘NT BUZZ’ dated November 25 about the bureaucracy and babugiri overshadowing IFFI. To this the director said that it was but obvious that politicians would be present at the opening and closing ceremony of IFFI, as this was a part of the protocol given that IFFI is funded by the government and has no private sponsorship.