Panaji: Goa is a permanent venue for the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) only for "namesake", a senior official in-charge of organising India`s biggest international film fest has said.
Goa`s status as a "permanent venue" for the IFFI also is farcical, the official claimed, pointing out the festival is hosted here only after an annual contract is drawn up with the central government.
"There is no sense of permanence about Goa as a venue," Vishnu Wagh, vice-chairman of the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), a state government agency in-charge of organising the logistics for festival, told reporters here.
"Goa is a permanent venue only for namesake. In reality, a contract is drawn up with the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) every year to host it here," Wagh said.
The DFF, which functions under the aegis of the union Information and Broadcasting ministry, is the core agency which conducts the IFFI. While the DFF is in charge of all the key chores like film selection, choosing invitees and the overall flow of the festival, the ESG`s responsibilities are more or less "blue collar", like handling logistics and event organising, et al.
One of the major reasons for ESG`s annual diatribe against the DFF is the fact that the state government shells out most of the funds required to host the festival, but most critical decision-making still rests with the DFF.
Wagh says that the Goa government shells out nearly 85 per cent of the Rs.15 crore to Rs.17 crore annually spent on hosting the festival.
"We spend 85 per cent of the total revenues incurred towards hosting the festival. We should have more say in the organisation," Wagh said.
The official, who is also a legislator of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said that the concept of an annual contract between the ESG and the DFF should be scrapped if Goa was to be called a permanent venue for the IFFI.
"Why not have a five-year contract instead of going through this unnecessary procedure every year?" Wagh asked.
The official also said that the Goa government was contemplating to host an independent film festival in addition to the IFFI.
"We have already received a proposal from noted Marathi film personalities Kiran Shantaram and Sudhir Nandgaonkar for hosting an independent film festival. We are considering it," Wagh said.
After years of alternating between Mumbai and Delhi, Goa was finally chosen as a permanent venue for the IFFI in 2004 and the 2013 festival would be the 10th anniversary of the festival in Goa.