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Short notes on the Goa festival

SUDHISH KAMATH

Snippets from the recently concluded IFFI in Panjim



SOUTH SHINES: Rajnikant did not attend the IFFI, but his presence was felt.

Superstar Rajnikant might not have been there in Goa but there was always a mention of him at the IFFI.

Right from the first press conference when the festival director Afzal Amanullah said, ``Rajnikant films sell like hot-cakes in Japan, doing more business than most Japanese films there. ``And then Amisha Patel at the CII's conference, spoke on how she realised the power of stardom when she once met a Japanese delegate who enquired about the man, flipping his sunglasses, Superstar style. ``The Japanese have a very `closed' culture and yet, we have been able to transcend into their culture and taste of films." At the inaugural ceremony of IFFI, a video presentation on Indian cinema illustrating role of superstars in regional cinema, played huge chunks of clips from Superstar's movies amid cheers from the audience.And every time, Shreya Saran was spotted, people around whispered: ``Look, there goes heroine of Rajnikant's next film Sivaji."



Shreya.

* * *

Talking of Shreya, the girl made the South proud, performing to songs from ``Roja" and ``Mazhai" at the inaugural ceremony. ``It was just one night's practice," she says. The lady also caught up with a couple of films: the Polish `Tulipany' (Tulips) and French 'Kings and Queens,' both of which were quite slow-paced.

``Regardless of that, the spirit is good," says the actress.

``I had a very very nice, enriching trip. I enjoyed a lot and have a lot of memories to take back," Shreya adds, refusing to divulge details of her prize role in ``Sivaji:" ``I'm not supposed to talk about it. I'm also doing a film with Dhanush." Is she looking at doing Hindi films? ``Im concentrating on any language offers a good role. All cinema is good," she says.

* * *

Nagesh Kukunoor was the centre of attraction at the CII conference and the party that followed. Union Minister Jaipal Reddy on arrival at the dinner, spent some time with the ``Hyderabad Blues" director.The filmmaker, whose latest ``Iqbal" features in the competitive section as the Indian entry along with the Malayalam film ``Perumazhakaalam" directed by Kamal plans to hang around for a week and catch a few films.

So has he seen ``Perumazhakaalam?" Oh, I loved it. I was a part of the jury at the National awards. And it was in my top three films. And now this film has turned out to be my competition," he laughs.

Both these films, however, did not win the competitive section.

* * *



Filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor was the centre of attention at the CII meet.

Rimii Sen showed up for the premiere of ``Deewane Hue Paagal," the Akshay Kumar-Shahid Kapoor starrer.

``I'm happy to be here. And I hope you all enjoyed the film," she said, asking people for feedback. Not many really bothered, lest they offend the lady.

A blatant rip-off of ``There's Something About Mary," with a musical `sutradhar' Vivek Oberoi who speaks in verse replacing the music-band narrator in the original and the taming the dog scene faithfully reproduced from the Farelly Brothers laugh riot, this movie does turn out to be obnoxious with stereotypical portrayal of South Indians, with Hindi actors, often confusing Tamil for Malayalam accents. Surely, a poor film to represent mainstream Indian cinema at an International festival, let alone premiere there.

* * *

Brazilian actress Camila Mogardo proved to be a big hit as the opening film of the festival, ``Olga," also in the competitive section, came in for critical acclaim. Mediapersons were full of praise for the leading lady who used an interpreter to communicate. ``The film as a whole was a challenge by itself, but the sequence from pregnancy to the point when the baby is taken away from her by the Nazis was the most intense and most challenging," she said.

It was truly a role of a lifetime for the actress, hailed to be among the best ever, with the role also fetching her awards and acclaim from all around the world. ``Olga" was Brazil's official entry to the Oscars and one of the favourites at the festival.

Malayalam filmmaker Jayaraj was so moved that he showed up at the press meet to offer her a role.

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