Goa IFFI 2012: Attendance far lower than expected at IFFI 2012

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The Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) and the directorate of film festivals (DFF) claimed that a record number of close to 13,000 delegates registered for the 43rd International Film Festival of India ( Iffi), which was held in Goa from November 20 to 30, 2012. But the delegates present at the festival venue were far lower than the tall claims.

Festival executives informed that only a little over 6,000 delegates eventually collected their cards from the counters at the festival venue, making the payment of 300. “During the first five days of the festival, only 5,000 individual delegates collected their cards. Later half of the festival saw students from film institutes across the country coming in batches of 20 to 25, which improved the delegate attendance at the festival only slightly,” a festival executive said.

The Entertainment Society of Goa thought it unfair that delegate registrations were closed assuming that all the 13,000 registered will attend the festival, but the numbers did not translate into reality and many interested in attending the festival might have been left out.

This motivated the festival organizers to reopen delegate registrations for the first time midway through the festival. But the idea did not pick up as the potential delegates had already lost out on several screenings of films and only around 40 chose to register during this later part of the festival. “It is true that if we make delegates pay the fee during the registration itself, we could tap in only the ones serious about attending the festival. But we cannot put such a system in place as reimbursement of the paid amount will be a problem if delegates do not wish to attend. And it is very difficult to know how serious a delegate is during the registration process,” ESG chief officer Manoj Srivastava said.

Srivastava claimed that there were 10,000 delegates ‘on campus’ during the festival. But the problem with the number was that the ESG was probably also taking into account the 200 festival executives, support staff and 500 invitees. “All the delegates cannot be concentrated at the place of screenings at a time. They are spread out from the Old Goa Medical College complex to the Kala Academy. Some attend the screenings at a particular time of the day. And delegates come to Goa in batches and leave after four to five days and then other delegates come in. The screening capacity of the theatres is 1,800 altogether, so this is the number of delegates attending the screenings at different times of the day,” ESG vice-chairperson Vishnu Wagh said.

Claims apart, the buzzing crowds expected, after the hype over record number of delegate registrations, was surely missing at the festival venue.

Courtesy: TOI

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