Panaji, Oct 12 (Calcutta Tube) The film fraternity in Goa has lambasted Chief Minister Digambar Kamat for including industrialists, their wives and journalists at the expense of film makers in the key decision-making body which is responsible for hosting the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here.
The Federation of Film Fraternity of Goa (FFFG) has also accused a key IFFI official of corruption in the hosting of the festival.
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Laxmikant Shetgaonkar, whose ‘Man from Beyond the Bridge‘ won the critics award at the Toronto film festival, said film makers were being given ‘step motherly treatment’ by the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) and the governing council which controls its affairs.
‘There are no film makers at all on the governing council who can guide the ESG, which organises the film festival. One does not understand the logic,’ Shetgaonkar said.
The inclusion of Anju Timblo, who runs a five-star hotel, which is part of a business empire operated by a mining-intensive group; Ranjana Salgaonkar, wife of another mining magnate, in addition to a host of bureaucrats and close aides of the chief minister, has raised several questions about the functioning of the council.
The FFFG has also accused the governing council of corruption and said that they had submitted several documents under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to the chief secretary Sanjiv Srivastava to nail down those responsible.
‘The short film centre (SFC) which is one of the components of the ESG is a scam. While the chief executive officer of the ESG, Manoj Srivastava, publicly claims that he has spent only Rs.18 lakh on the centre, RTI documents reveal that the money sanctioned for this component was Rs.75 lakh plus. Where has the rest of the money gone,’ asked Arnold D’Costa who is the convenor of the FFFG.
Shetgaonkar said the FFFG has demanded deletion of the SFC and the Film T-20 (an IFFI sideshow, a contest in which the top 20 films from Indian cinema are ranked) segment from the memorandum of understanding (MoU) which will be signed with the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), a division of the union ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The IFFI gets underway in November this year.