GUWAHATI, Oct 28 - �From my experience, I could say that the Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) is not a small festival. Rather based on the European perspective, we can recognise it as a middle-rank film festival,� said Croatian film personality Igor Mirkovic while speaking at the open forum on the topic �Smaller Festivals: Breaking New Grounds� organised as part of the second edition of GIFF held on the premises of the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra here today.
�In such film festivals, filmmakers can come into direct contact with the common audience. Festival like GIFF is to make common people entertain and happy. It is a good platform for budding filmmakers to start their career,� Mirkovic said.
The Croatian filmmaker said the budget is a not a parameter to judge the category of a film festival. �In comparison to the Croatian film festival, GIFF has a double budget. In GIFF, the public participation is very overwhelming whereas I have witnessed film festival a few years back in my country with no audience,� he said, adding, �for me, visiting a film festival is like doing research so that I can improve my work further. All over the world, around 3,000 film festivals held in a year and each festival has a unique character.�
Speaking at the open forum, Cambodian filmmaker PraCh Ly said, �A few years ago, I had seen only 15 persons as the audience in a film festival organised in our country. But nowadays, the scenario has changed drastically.�
Explaining about the film festivals of his own land, Ly said, �Our film festivals are not government funded but community funded. Everything we do at the festival is community-bound. Interestingly, we have a young community and a young culture to make the environment vibrant.�
�Interacting with actors, directors, producers and other film personalities in different film festivals all over the world has changed my life. The GIFF is not a small festival rather it is an excellent festival,� he added.
Speaking in the open forum, VB Pyarelal, Chairman, Assam Revenue Board, said, �In my career as a bureaucrat, I have lots of experience in organising film festivals. Based on the experience, I could say that the North-east is a reservoir of talent. So, it is our duty to nurture those talents.� Marking the GIFF as a small but a beautiful film festival, Pyarelal said, �In GIFF, our main concern is to maintain the quality.�
Srinivasa Santhanam, another panellist, curator, adviser and programmer of the GIFF, said, �The GIFF is a B+ grade film festival and it is not a small one. The huge participation of film enthusiasts proves it.�
On the other hand, Santhanam also said, �A filmmaker should choose a film festival where his or her film will get respect and appreciation.�