By Vivek Menezes
It’s time for Team Peacock to spread wings, and head home to roost. Our unique festival daily has only been in existence for two years, so it’s extremely gratifying to see it has already become an integral part of the delegate experience. By the third morning of IFFI 2016, if stacks of issues weren’t immediately available, a stream of anxious delegates came directly to Maquinez Palace to get a copy.
The Peacock ran full speed all through IFFI 2016. Our hustling crew of young reporters and photographers stayed on the move from first screening to last, eager to deliver you the fastest news, the most interesting perspectives, the big picture as well as individual strands which come together to make this festival what it is. It has been an utterly fascinating journey. Even sitting here in our editorial bunker, it’s clear this has been the most far-reaching, diverse film festival ever held in India.
For that achievement alone, IFFI 2016’s festival programmers deserve a standing ovation. Largely avoiding Hindi movie and Bollywood fixations, they laid out a genuinely astounding cinematic lineup. Several masterclass hosts were also terrific. For too many years in a row, none of this could be taken for granted. The International Film Festival of India has routinely been international in name only. But not IFFI 2016. With this huge step in the right direction, it does seem possible this Goa-based festival might become a popular and successful global brand, as its host state managed a long time ago.
The Peacock squawks, but who listens? IFFI 2016 delegates encouraged us to push to cover more, to include a wider range of voices, to strive to shape a festival narrative that does justice to everything that is happening at the same time. Naturally, we failed. There’s no way an event of this magnitude can be exhaustively documented in entirety. But try we have, and it is because you motivated us. Thank you, readers. We love you.
The Peacock is the dreamchild of Ameya Abhyankar, the dynamic CEO of Entertainment Society of Goa. He believed, first. We are grateful for his trust and support, and most of all for freedom to call it as we see it. Sincere thanks are also due to the entire ESG team, especially Saieesh Gandhi (who tolerated many wild-eyed incursions into his serene cabin) and the unflappable Arantxa Afonso, who – among many other things – fed us, thus earning undying fealty.
This year’s The Peacock rolled out like a series of collector’s editions. Many people were seen taking covers off multiple copies, to take home as souvenirs. Not a bad idea. The gorgeous exclusive cover paintings are by Amruta Patil, graphic artist extraordinaire. Her ‘Kari’ is among the best graphic novels of recent times. ‘Sauptik: Blood And Flowers’ recently hit the bookstores. Go buy!
Team Peacock is all stars. Kinjal Sethia is a clean prose machine. Unstoppable! Suyash Kamat has extraordinary cinema sensibility. He’s barely out of his teens! Dale Luis Menezes and Kaustubh Naik are two of the finest minds Goa has recently produced. Watch out for them! Rhea D’Souza and Greig Fernandes are brilliant young architects. There’s nothing they can’t do. Watch out for them too! Chiraag Sukerkar met more interesting people, to get more insightful Short Takes, than anyone might think possible. He’s the coolest!
Thank you Raj Isar – UNESCO veteran– for most agreeably adding gravitas to our pages. Thank you Jugneeta Sudan, Jennifer Harrison, and Jolaine Moses for your contributions and positive energy. We greatly appreciated the One School Goa photographers, and our intrepid interns, Rohan Menezes and Desmond Pinto.
Copy flows. Images get transferred. But in the end, a bleary-eyed core sends the paper to bed. Thank you Sachin Chatte, for making sure we never missed the big picture. Thank you Niju Mohan, for always being there, far beyond the call of duty.
Huge credit to Amol Kamat, imperturbable designer and layout man. He did an unbelievable job, often under duress. Most of all, Team Peacock owes its gratitude to José Lourenço. His scrupulous, diligent efforts and superb editorial judgement made the second edition of this paper what it is. Thank you, José.
See you next year!