Local Goa News

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

7,500 delegates at Iffi, but where is the buzz?

PANAJI: Organizers of the 47th International Film Festival of India (Iffi) claim that there are 7,500 delegates present at the festival venues this year, but one look at the festival premises in the capital city or a chat with any delegate is sufficient to believe that the festive atmosphere misses the buzz.
Besides ‘films’ and ‘tickets’, the third most frequently uttered word by delegates at Iffi 2016 is ‘demonetization’.

Noble Joseph, a film student who is a registered delegate at Iffi 2016, said that many of his colleagues decided against travelling for Iffi this year, due to the shortage of lower denominations of Indian currency. On arriving in Goa, he feels they made the wise decision. “I lost my debit card on the first day here. I am surviving, thanks to my friends who travelled with me,” he told TOI.
While some argued that the improved quality of films being screened was keeping the crowds locked inside the theatres, making festival premises look empty; most delegates believed that demonetization has had a major impact on the number of delegates at Iffi, this year.
The Iffi blog contains an article on 14 ATMs that can
be found around the festival venues.
Noby Kurian, a delegate from Kerala, said, “Hotels and some stalls at Iffi may accept cards, but most of the dealings still happen in cash with fruit vendors and on board buses, etc. I have had to restrict my moment to the festival venue only and couldn’t travel to the north Goa beach belt. Demonetization has sucked the fun out of my visit to Goa”.
Though Iffi director C Senthil Rajan denied that demonetization of 500 and 1,000 notes has affected the festival this year, those who have set up food stalls on the promenade at Iffi said that business has been slow as compared to previous years.
Iffi sees streams of locals thronging for the food and entertainment outside the festival venue each year. Though there is a decent crowd this year too, the promenade is not a sea of people it used to be.
Festival organizers were accepting payment only through cards, while issuing day delegate passes, as the pass costs 300, and 100 notes are hard to find.

TOI Goa News

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