SAFF in Goa comes to a close

The four-day long South Asian Film Festival came to a close on 29th June 09. It was the fourth installment this year and it screened movies from all the major parts of South Asian countries like ...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 | 10:07:10 AM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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The four-day long South Asian Film Festival came to a close on 29th June '09. It was the fourth installment this year and it screened movies from all the major parts of South Asian countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Iran and India.


Films of all genres had been hand-picked to be shown and that ranged from issue-based to cultural to mainstream cinema. Over 60 films were screened in the span of 4 days. Indian movies like "Fashion", "Welcome to Sajjanpur" among many others were shown.


The first movie that was screened was "Yousuf" a Maldivean film about the steely determination of a deaf and dumb boy and his right to live in normalcy along with the rest. The film was directed by Fathimath Nahula.


The last movie screened on the last day was Afghanistan's "Opium War" which was directed by Siddiq Barmak. The movie plot is about two American soldiers wounded in the Afghanistan desert stumbling across a Russian tank which has a group of Afghanis living inside. This film was earlier screened at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival held a few weeks back.

The press conference held on the 29th June was attended by few prominent figures of the Indian film industry Rajat Kapoor, Manisha Koirala and Nirmal Pandey. They asserted that South Asian films had immense potential and Hollywood should not be seen as the only place where good films are made. Rajat Kapoor said "It has been realised that Hollywood is not the only way to tell the story." This year, the main focus was on the new and young filmmakers. Talking about this, actress Manisha Koirala told the press that "it is the young bunch of filmmakers that are taking centre stage now and the quality of films is simply great."


Goa has been always regarded as an ideal place for screening films and attracting film enthusiasts from all over the world. Talking about Goa, Koirala lauded "Anybody from the film industry loves to come to Goa. When you come to Goa, you can meet film enthusiasts. Plus it's a holiday."


The film fest though had a problem of poor prints of the displayed movies and there were no subtitles either. This dampened the turn out and only about 100 people were found sitting in a 1000 people-capacity Kala Academy auditorium. Irrespective of such hitches Manoj Srivastava, the Entertainment Society  of Goa CEO maintained that "These film festivals are here to stay in Goa and more and more festivals and international events will take place in the state."


Here's hoping that SAFF comes back next year and this time the turn out is far far more than ever!

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