Expert Committee on Upgradation of IFFI meets first time

The first meeting of the Expert Committee for up gradation of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was held in New Delhi today. Sh Kamal Haasan was chosen to convene the next meeting of the experts to be able to give recommendations regarding up gradation of IFFI on lines of other reputed International Festivals and the resultant changes to be made in the Regulations thereto as also its organizational structure. The committee is expected to submit its recommendations latest by 15th March 2010 to be able to make qualitative changes for IFFI 2010.

Welcoming the eminent members of the Committee present for the meeting today, the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Smt Ambika Soni said that the Ministry wishes to be benefitted by the recommendations of the Committee so that the revamped IFFI measures up to the expectations of the film sector stakeholders as well as cinemagoers. The Minister desired that IFFI should be profiled such that it ‘becomes a date on world calendar’.

Contributing to the discussions, the Members suggested that IFFI should acquire a definite identity and character as associated with other known Film Festivals. Whether IFFI should have more of Asia focus or be trade oriented festival or a forum for film discussions or target film audience, would largely define the organizational and structural logistics, it was pointed out. Goa as a permanent venue could be infrastructurally up graded also accordingly. It was also emphasized that Branding of the Festival, with clear sense of ownership, keeping in view the present day trends, is another aspect that needs to be examined.

Among those who attended the meeting today included S/Sh. A.K.Bir, C.S.Sapra, Govind Nihalani, Kamal Haasan, Laxmikant Shetgaonkar, Prasoon Joshi, Pritish Nandy along with Ms. Kishwar Desai, Maithili Rao, Pooja Shetty Deora, Shabana Azmi and Chief Secretary, Government of Goa, Sh Sanjay Shrivastava. Ms Shahnaz Hussain joined the meeting as an observer. Senior officials of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Directorate of Film Festivals were also present.

The Committee can also make recommendations regarding the changes to be made in the selection of Indian Panorama films both feature and non-feature categories and resultant changes to be made in the Indian Panorama Regulations. The Committee would also be free to suggest if a Special Purpose Vehicle or an autonomous organizational body, funded largely by the Government, should eventually be hosting IFFI in any radically different manner in the long run.