Panaji, Dec 1 A motley unprofessional combo of politicians, bureaucrats and political appointees, including ‘industrialist wives’ and journalists, running Goa’s film promotion body are squelching film culture instead of promoting it, Goa’s most well known filmmaker Laxmikant Shetgaonkar said.
Speaking during ‘Open Forum’, a discussion platform for delegates held at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) campus in Panaji Wednesday, Shetgaonkar who is an advisor to the union ministry of information and broadcasting vis-a-vis organization of the event, said film makers were not being involved in the film popularization process in Goa.
“ESG (Entertainment Society of Goa) is not doing their job well at getting locals connected to the festival. There are no film professionals who are in the governing council of ESG. Instead there are journalists, business people. How will film makers get justice here,” said Shetgaonkar, whose film ‘Poltoddcho Monis’ won rave reviews at festivals in India and abroad 2009.
ESG was a society set up in 2003 to promote film culture in Goa. Over the years, its functioning has come under severe criticism for allowing itself to be used as a rehabilitative option for politicians, industrialists, journalists and the like.
The current ESG governing council includes Chief Minister Digambar Kamat (chairman), Forest Minister Filipe Rodrigues (vice chairman), Speaker P.R. Rane (permanent invitee), and members Congress MLA Chandrakant Kavlekar, chief secretary S.K. Srivastava, secretary information Rajeev Verma, Secretary finance S. Kumaraswami, Anju Timblo, wife of leading mine owner Audhoot Timblo, Ranjana Salgaocar, wife of another leading mining baron Shivanand Salgaocar and Raju Naik, the editor of a vernacular regional daily.
U. Radhakrishnan, a renowned film juror and moderator of the Open Forum debate, said logistical arrangements for the IFFI 2011 had plumbed the worst-ever depths with delegates and guests at the IFFI being left stranded due to shoddy arrangements right from organizing events to transport.
“We are suffering because of ESG,” Radhakrishnan said, adding that the reins of the IFFI should be handed over to the newly-formed IFFI secretariat, instead of the responsibility being shared between the union ministry for information and broadcasting-run directorate of film festivals (DFF) and the ESG.