PAGE 11: Our Pandemic Possibilities

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By Vivek Menezes

“The Peacock squawks, and the pandemic avatar of the International Film Festival of India comes to life.”

For this 51st edition of Asia’s oldest – and India’s most prestigious – cinematic banquet, there are extraordinary conditions: social distancing, zero conviviality, the sleeping capital, barely any delegates in what is supposed to be an international bonanza. But we are here nonetheless, and so are you, and that is because we love the movies. 

These unusual circumstances mean there are rare opportunities burgeoning throughout the festival lineup. The city of Panjim is lit up, and you can wander as illuminated in your wildest dreams. The festival film schedule is more than full, which means there are all kinds of treasures to be unveiled. 

The magnificent heritage precinct nestled in the oldest medical college in Asia has been fully illuminated, and you can see its every nook and cranny. We can assure you the Entertainment Society of Goa has done its very best to extend the warmest Goan hospitality.

What exactly will it take to host this kind of event in the middle of the worst pandemic in recent modern history? What is our beloved IFFI going to look like under these circumstances? Will this be an excellent executive decision, or yet another administrative disaster with huge human costs?

We do not yet know the answers to these questions, but there can be no doubt of sincere intentions all around. The organizers will strive, the delegates will try to stay safe, and The Peacock will tell you exactly what happens one way or the other. This is an exceptionally complicated scenario, but we are built to endure, so you can count on us. 

Today is the anniversary of the day that Goa was admitted the referendum that changed everything for India’s smallest state. The opinion poll was heavily loaded in one direction, but the results turned out in the opposite. This is democracy, and freedom of expression, and both of those values are intrinsic to cinema at its finest. 

Welcome to the 51 edition of the International Film Festival of India. 

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