Every year the arrival of the season for international film festival brings in it’s train a debate over the next venue for the festival. Goa or elsewhere is the present topic for debate. In a country with so many cultural streams merging in the film making arena, controversy on such issues is quite expected. Everyone has some pride for regional cultural heritage and would like to see it in the forefront at the national stage . There is a belief that a film festival provides the best opportunity for such showcasing of regional talent and highlighting the respective achievements. Some creative thinkers have expressed the feeling that by creating an all India format the opportunity for such exposure would be shared by film makers , artists , writers and all those connected with the film industry all over the country.
But is that a logic good enough for reducing this international event linked to creativity to the status of a sports competition or a traveling circus ? If we are keen to make this festival an icon of world ranking celebration, comparison with the formats for other comparable events is inevitable. Other famous international festivals are attached to permanent venues which is the identification mascot for the respective events. By changing the venue every year the festival would be having the status of an infant among a group of well established names. The new venue each year would fail to recall any memories of previous celebrations. The festival would be devoid of emotional contents which draw creative arstists from various nooks and corners of world to such events year after year. So let good sense prevail over personal prejudices to strengthen the international event , let it remain confined to one permanent venue.
Now the next issue would be why Goa instead of Delhi. For seeking an answer to this question it is necessary to see as to how IFFI or any other film festival stands apart from other mega events of international importance. A film festival is a celebration for creative instincts of mankind collectively brought from various civilizations under one roof. It is an occasion for sharing tears of joy and sorrow over suffering and enjoyments of mankind all over the world, mirrored in the films collected from the master craftsmen of the art. As denizens we know the international city into which Delhi is shaping up and the hectic life style of the city does not offer the ambiance for such emotional and sentimental activities now. The laid back life style which was the hallmark of Lutyen’s city at some stage of it’s growth is now only a part of our memories .
The city is fast moving towards virtualisation of all human activities where computers may sometimes take over our lives very much like the scenario visualized by the creator of masterpiece Matrix. In this fast paced journey we have no time to lament over the loss of film festival.City of Delhi served the interest of the festival in the evolutionary stage by providing the infrastructure and exposure.Now let it move to serene beaches of Goa which otherwise has the biggest exposure to international tourist in the tourism season and is the best known city for fun and frolick in the international stage.The poetic , emotional, creativity inspiring atmosphere missing from Delhi is however something with which Goa is blessed in abundance.
Having witnessed one of the film festivals leaves no doubt that the beautifully painted houses, smartly dressed locals in all nature of dresses, the lavish sprinkling of places of worship of each religion all over the city, the liberal spirits and free flowing wines of all descriptions leave Goa as the only natural choice for the International festival. All over the world people love Goa more than any place in India . It conjures up pleasant visions of celebration in minds of everyone who has visited or heard about the place. So let the film festival remain like that. Let it have the stamp of Goa.