BY Christal Ferrao
With almost everything moved online this year; from ticketing, brochures and schedules, to films, masterclasses, meeting directors and the jury; IFFI 2021 is a whole new experience not just for the delegates but for the organisers as well. The IT department works in the background solving technical errors, website crashes, mixed movie bookings, low connectivity and attending to all the virtual complaints and suggestions. Rising to the occasion, we have reached mid-way into the festival fairly smoothly. It augurs well for future editions, which could also benefit from the dual approach.
So much has been unique this year. Cine enthusiasts and film professionals can participate in the festival from their homes via personal laptops and mobiles besides regular physical presence. How is this virtual experience though? Registered users are welcomed with the signature introduction video of the festival, a scene of the common area of a multiplex hall and a small screen that has trailers playing to set up the mood of virtually attending a film festival. Not unlike binging on Netflix or other OTT platforms, IFFI virtual movies have an added introduction by an anchor; the masterclasses feel similar to the Zoom seminars we have had all of last year; and the Press Information Bureau (PIB)’s conferences are available on Youtube. Fortunately, there is a virtual help desk. There are also virtual cinema quizes and a virtual photo booth for the selfie-savvy!