Panaji: “The much-hyped International Film Festival of India (IFFI) could get only 269 International Delegates in the last four editions of the festival despite Goa Government spending almost 100 crores and Central Government contributing negligible 11.8 crores on organization of the festival from 2019 to 2022. Only one Goan Film screened in Official Section of IFFI in last 4 years. This data is enough to prove that IFFI is reduced to a Domestic Film Festival,” charged Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao.
“I had dared the Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant a fortnight ago to reveal the data pertaining to Delegate Registrations, Expenditure incurred by Government of Goa, Funds received from the Central Government for organising the Film Festival. As the Chief Minister failed to accept my challenge, I am compelled to place in public domain the facts and figures of IFFI,” stated Yuri Alemao.
He said the data provided to the Assembly by Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant who holds the Information and Publicity portfolio reveals that Goa Government or Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) have lost all rights of Programming and Curating various Sections of IFFI. The role of the Goa Government & ESG is now reduced to a Travel & Hospitality Agent. It is high time that the Government releases a white paper on IFFI which will throw light on the actual benefits of IFFI to the State as against the huge expenditure incurred by the Government every year..
“In 2019, during 50th IFFI only 116 International Delegates participated, while during 51st IFFI in 2021, only 33 International Delegates attended, 37 Foreign Delegates remained present for the 52nd IFFI in 2021 whereas only 83 International Delegates were present for 53rd IFFI in 2022. The Government information further reveals that total number of Delegates registering for IFFI from 2019 to 2022 were only 22003 out of which 6480 were Goans,” pointed Yuri Alemao.
The reply given by the Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant further reveals that the Government could get sponsorship of hardly 4.5 crores for last four editions of IFFI. Surprisingly, the major sponsors for the 50th edition of IFFI were Goa Shipyard Ltd., Goa Waste Management Corporation and Department of Information Technology, exposing the fact that Government could not get any private sponsors and patrons for the Golden Jubilee edition of the Mega Film Festival. IFFI has lost its “Brand”,” stated Yuri Alemao.
“None of the films of the Goan Film-makers were screened in the Official Section of the International Film Festival of India from 2019 till 2022. The only film which was selected for Official Screening in the Indian Panorma Section was during 53rd International Film Festival of India was “Wagro” produced by Rajesh Pednekar and directed by Sainath Uskaikar. This proves that Goan Film Makers were misguided by the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) on Screening of their Films, stated Yuri Alemao.
Goa Film Finance Scheme was initiated by the Congress Government in 2006. Unfortunately, the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) kept the said scheme dormant from 2012 till 2016. Out of 35 Films which got the benefit under the said scheme till date, almost 75 percent of the Films were produced during Congress Government regime, claimed Yuri Alemao.