DEU BOREM KORUM
By Vivek Menezes
The Peacock squawks for the very last time at the 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India, and you will see the results only on-screen. For the first year in the history of this oldest film festival in Asia, every bit of written material has gone digital. It has posed a challenge for everyone, not least your favourite festival daily. We are used to producing gorgeous ‘hard copies’ to become instant collector’s items, not just pixels to be peered at on your phone or PC.
But this was the best possible outcome given the unique circumstances of our collective pandemic predicament. Team Peacock maintained all the necessary protocols: masks, distancing, work-from-home, and we know that our efforts have been appreciated because of an overwhelming response from our readers. Thank you, cinema fans, first and above all. You make every effort worthwhile.
The Peacock ran with uncommon smoothness this year, buoyed by the grace of our managing editor Impana Kulkarni (she’s a dancer, so perhaps it comes naturally to her). Paired alongside the veteran, nimble-fingered brilliance of our layout wizard Amol Kamat, and the sheer visual genius of lead photographer Assavri Kulkarni, this trio of stalwarts made working together both fun and rewarding. Thank you, guys!
This year’s format made visuals much more important than any previous edition, and our team delivered to an extraordinary degree. The deeply meaningful cover paintings by Shilpa Mayenkar Naik, the consistently thought-provoking back pages by Praveen Naik, our first-ever comic by Raviraj Naik, and the cheeky, charming Peanut Gallery by Nadia de Souza, combined with stellar article illustrations by Rai, Pakhi Sen, and Chloe Cordeiro all raised the bar considerably for future editions. Big hand to each and all of you!
Many thanks to Sachin Chatte and Suyash Kamat, our cinephilic core. And also to the distinguished daily columnists, beloved Konkani writer Damodar ‘Bhai’ Mauzo and Drs Rachana Patni and Luis Dias, as well as the rest of our writing cohort: Karishma D’mello, Christal Ferrao, Kavita Masthoff and Rohan Menezes. All of you, backed up by the versatile photo and technical support of Siddhartha Lall and Michael Praveen, have done this occasion and opportunity proud. Viva!
Why this festival at this time? Many were skeptical, and some outright critical. Other events of this type have been cancelled. But just two days in, and the logic made itself clear. Many people really needed this, starting with the symbiotically twinned communities of film-makers and movie fans. Every single one of us has had an extremely gruelling several months of dread and disappointment due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and we needed hope.
IFFI 2021 gave us that, gone off as well as possible, and been a most welcome break. Thank you most of all to Amit Satija, Subhash Phal Dessai, Mrunal Walke, Arantxa Afonso and everyone else at the Entertainment Society of Goa. Kudos for a job well done.
By Christal Ferrao
This year the International Film Festival of India was a distinctive and hybrid one,
Instead of November 2020, the organizers wanted me to dance in January 2021.
At first I was nervous, but began to perform in style,
As I saw guests walk on the illuminated red carpeted isle,
Cine enthusiasts watched the silver screen happily after a really long quarantine run.
I learnt to use technology well and this was the best chance,
To stay online and entertain the homebound with a graceful zoom dance,
You could be home, or anywhere overseas,
View films, masterclasses and conversations by pros with expertise,
Learn, understand, and write about the technique and parlance.
Young filmmakers visited the festival and were grateful for the selection,
They documented history, gender desires, and social change in action,
Musicians performed Goan beats and rhyme, the city was illuminated after a long time,
Delegates satisfied their taste buds for cuisine with a dash of lime,
As first time participants understood art, setting and fiction.
Virtual viewing is a good alternative to connect people from distant lands,
You click photos, walk through terrains and virtually see the sea near the sand,
But I hope we can get back to the good old rush of first day first show,
So that people can make more films for society to love, learn, and grow
And film festivals like IFFI can promote and celebrate our moviemaking brand.