Lackluster foreign presence rankles IFFI organisers

Panaji, Dec 2 (Calcutta Tube) The inability to attract enough foreign delegates was one of the main shortcomings of the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI), an official said Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) chief S.M. Khan said that the only way forward for IFFI was to attract more and more foreign delegates.

‘The participation of foreign delegates has to be in thousands. We are not happy with the current participation of foreign delegates. Many of them come, but they come for their films. We want delegates to come just to see the festival,’ he said.

Khan said IFFI’s other shortcoming was its inability to attract world premieres, which he said helped in beefing up the international profile of a film festival.

‘We should be getting world premieres of foreign films at IFFI. This we are not getting as we wish. Director and filmakers should wait for IFFI to launch their films,’ Khan said.

‘We need to do enough things to attract them. We have a lot of attractions for the foreign delegates. This year we introduced the ‘Master Classes’ as well as other events. What we need to do is consolidate on these events,’ said Manoj Srivastava, chairman of Entertainment Society of Goa, which hosts the festival alongwith DFF.

This year’s edition attracted more than 8,500 delegates, but organisers were unsure of how many were from overseas.

Both Khan and Srivastava, who allegedly have been at loggerheads over organisational issues, echoed the need to rope in private participation, not just in form of fringe sponsors, but also in providing core logistical services.

‘Up till now, the sponsors have only been providing logistical support and services. In future, these could sponsor large parts of the festival,’ Khan said.

The 10-day festival concludes Thursday.

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