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International film festival `a great success'

By Anil Kumar Sastry

PANAJI, DEC. 9. Curtains came down on the 10-day 35th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) - Goa here this evening.

The number of delegates to this year's festival doubled over last year, and there was large-scale public participation.

Talking to the media, the IFFI Director, Neelam Kapur, said IFFI-04 was "a great success", thanks to the involvement of the people. Goa's quiet ambience helped the delegates enjoy the festival without any hassle.

The number of delegates this year was around 4,000, including 1,000 Goans, as against 2,500 in the previous year. The State Government, however, claimed the number was over 6,000, because it too issued delegate passes.

Without making any commitment on making Goa the permanent venue of IFFI, Ms. Kapur said that unlike the Cannes, Goa had its own pace. Everything was commercialised in the Cannes, whereas in Goa, with a different atmosphere, everyone was in a relaxed mood to enjoy the festival.

As many as 175 films were screened under different categories. As there was no separate screening for the public, they were given 25 per cent of the seats at the Multiplex.

Ms. Kapur said the Directorate of Film Festivals was "forced" to screen such a large number of films, because each was "simply superb." However, efforts would be made to screen one film at least twice next year to ensure that no delegates missed a single film. The total number of films would be restricted to 100.

The Minister for Information and Broadcasting, S. Jaipal Reddy, and the Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, will take part in the closing ceremony, in which "Alexander" would be screened.

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