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DAMODAR MAUZO : SAHITYA

Illustration by Chloe Cordelio

The 2021 edition of the International Film Festival of India is finally coming to an end. This year was organized in the shadow of the possibly fading Covid situation.
The delegates did put on a celebratory mood, though everybody was apprehensive of the risk posed by the pandemic. Admittedly there were flaws and shortcomings in the orderliness at the event. We can hope that the pandemic will soon take leave of us and will provide the opportunity for DFF and ESG to take stock of the wrongs, and strive to come out with a better edition in the coming year.    
IFFI 2021 had only four films in Konkani, which is the official language of our state, and being the host, delegates could have expected bigger numbers.  Fortunately, Jeetendra Shikerkar has given us a wonderful film D’Costa House, that has met my satisfaction.
It excelled in most of the compartments including photography, background music, and acting. The experienced director has done a good job of writing the story, screenplay, and dialogues. It appears that aspiring filmmakers of Konkani prefer going for short films for understandable reasons, because the almost unaffordable cost involved in film-making is the biggest hurdle.
Short films have their own space. They are exhibited at various film festivals where good films can aspire for awards and rewards. Besides most of the short films are made available on YouTube, that has a wider viewership. But most importantly, in my view, short films are a stepping stone for the newcomers. If they taste success at shorter versions they will try to go for feature films.
Konkani is a language that suffered at the hands of repressive rule in the colonial past. It is the duty of the Union and State governments to make available all the necessary infrastructure needed to make Konkani films. I am happy that Konkani is being treated on par with the rest of the recognized languages of India, yet we certainly need a package that will give a boost to filmmaking.  
Goans are a peace loving people who expect a fair deal from the dispensation. If they are taken for granted, they can turn violent. In the past, Konkani was made the Official Language only after a violent agitation. We hope, the aspirations of the people of Goa are met with due respect.
Mog Asumdi, Alvida, Adeus, Goodbye.    

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