Thursday, January 24, 2008
Konkani Film "ALEESHA"
‘Konkani cinema needs a boost’
Tuesday, April 10, 2007 (DNA)
PANAJI: In 2005, ‘Aleesha’, a Konkani film won the national award for best film in the country. It gave a shot in the arm for the regional film industry in Goa, but while the film won accolades and a Rs 12 lakh in prize money, the industry still suffers from the usual ailments — lack of finance and audience.
“The Goan filmdom needs financial patronage and push,” says Keshav Nadkarni, actor and secretary, Goan Organisation of Filmmakers (GOF) that is dedicated to develop film culture and regional cinema in Goa.
Recently, GOF requested the government to implement its financial scheme for Goan producers fully without any amendments till year 2010. “This will definitely give a chance to all Goan producers covered under the scheme to come out with their films which will compete with national regional cinema,” Rajendra Talak, President, GOF, told DNA. Under the scheme (notified by the state government in 2006), the department of information has selected four Konkani celluloid films, two Marathi films, one telefilm and four documentaries for financial support.
Talak was all praise for the government’s initiative in selecting 21 applications out of 41 for filmmaking under the scheme “since we are at the infantile stage of filmmaking”. While the 20-year period between 1950 to 1970 saw 20 films Konkani films being made, there was a virtual lull for the next 30 years till he made ‘Aleesha’.
That Goa is a permanent venue for IFFI (International Film Festival of India) is also a plus point, although it is debatable whether the film culture that has developed here has benefited Konkani cinema. But although there are 30 lakh Konkani-speaking people spread over Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala, not only is the dialect different but so is the script and that encompasses a huge cultural chasm.
The GOF has already taken the initiative to get benefits such as entertainment tax exemption for Konkani films, providing public places for shooting by paying only Rs 1,000 per film and has made cinema theatres available for Goan films. These are areas where the government can give it a push, says Talak, adding “We are not beggars to go and ask. They should call and give us the money.”
But the ultimate solution lies in making Konkani cinema commercially viable, says Nadkarni. Make a Konkani potboiler and the cash registers will jingle, he feels.