By Pritish Bagdi
I must confess that, despite being a full-time filmmaker for the last six years, I have been committing the crime of not attending the International Film Festival of India till now.
After I redeemed myself this year, I had some truly great experiences in the last eight days and one of the finest has been reading the artistic festival daily newspaper The Peacock, which caught my attention right on Day One.
The Peacock is more than just another newsletter, because I’ve never seen attendees queuing up to get a copy of any such publication at any event. From the very first day the daily became a ‘must have’ in my press kit. Scrolling through the abstractly coloured illustrations, and gazing into the thoughts of its creators, The Peacock became my most beautiful time-out in the hectic schedule of IFFI.
What’s amazing in this daily is the idea behind the section of ‘short takes’. This section creates a sense of inclusivity amongst the people at IFFI. It makes them feel like they are an intrinsic part of this festival. I was really impressed when I came across a very genuine comment of an elderly delegate, who was struggling to book movie tickets because of the online ticketing system and his comments were published without fear of the management of IFFI being seen in a questionable light. I think it is this freedom, which the editorial team of The Peacock holds, that made me an avid fan.
This daily is working miracles for cine-lovers and professionals who are present here for networking. Since this magazine features people who are present on the premises, this gives everyone an initial insight into whom they can potentially connect with. Even otherwise, what is published in the day’s edition becomes an ice-breaker on almost any table, connecting film enthusiasts to film professionals, and we never know − this could be the beginning of something big. So The Peacock is not only updating people but also linking likeminded people.
The original artworks published daily, that too, on almost every page, left me scratching my brains – “How did they do it!” All these illustrations and graphics are created daily and it makes me wonder what kind of time warp the editorial team is using to put everything in place in just 12 pages, including the day’s screening schedule.
One suggestion to make The Peacock more useful would be to provide a transportation guide to the city, with the relevant helplines of the concerned officials in the IFFI management team, to assist delegates who are visiting from outside Goa. This daily is carried by everyone and could really prove to be an essential little handbook for some minor emergencies.
What I was really looking forward to in any one of the editions was information on what changes were made in IFFI after Covid-19, because regular visitors to IFFI were taken by surprise by the new format of the festival, dropping of the Kala Academy venue, and other changes.
A big thanks to The Peacock team for featuring me on short takes on Day 3. The Peacock indeed became an important part of the essence of IFFI, and I’ll be carrying all the copies back home.
(This article was written with inputs from my colleague and professional partner, Swati Bhat)