January 14, 2007 | 05:09 PM
The Goa Film Festival
In light of this continuing dialogue over child trafficking in Goa...
......I have to admit that I was one of the prime motivators of shifting the Indian International Film Festival to Goa. There were many reason and the then Chief Minister , Panniker backed the idea and the film festival was born. However..There was, as should be, a great worry about what would happen to the envioroment in Goa. I thought that was a very very real concern. I fought the first ideas fo taking over a beach in South Goa, and building huge infrastructure there. I myself do not go to Film Festivals anyway where I cannot loose myself in the local culture. For example the Marrakesh film festival is enjoyable not only for it's film but also for it's fascinating local culture.
I made a very strong case for the festival to be held in Panjim. There were a lot of reccomendations that I made, which if the readers fo this Blog are interested I will share.
But the most important one was to hand over the management of the Festival gradually to Goans, and to the private sector. I do not eblieve that 'Babugiri ' does any good to a festival of culture or arts in any form.
Since then I have not had the oppertunity to attentd any of the festivals so far, but judging from whats going on, I am dissapointed. It's turning into a 'Bollywood' party.
I still believe that the film festival should be handed over to the private sector. That we should form a trust that should include primarily Goans. For they have an investment in the envioroment and the culture of Goa. For themselves and their children,
I also feel the film festival was 'imposed' from the top, and not allowed to grow organically to find it's place amongst the important festival of the world. We cannot become a Cannes overnight. And even if that was achievable, it would wreak havoc with the envioroment and culture in Goa.
And now given this scandal on sex abuse with children, we have tio tread very carefully.
Recently I had the immense pleasure of meting Wendel Rodricks, a very wonderful and eminent Goan. I wish I could ask Wendel, other Goans to come together and start a very very Goan film and culture festival, which I am sure will find a unique place of it's own internationally.