At Kala Academy, Panjim, Goa

Besides being the onset of winter in India, November is also known for being the month that hosts the International Film Festival of India (iffi) in Goa. http://iffigoa.org/ Thousands of film professionals and passionate film buffs flock at the venue at Goa’s capital city- Panjim. It was the 48th year of Iffi, but it was my 7th consecutive year of attending the film festival. And I must say that each year’s visit has helped the film maker and the travel fanatic in me gradually evolve.

Being a film professional myself, (in the capacity of a Script Writer) and also a passionate film buff, for me experiencing the festival is a celebration of ‘learn while you have fun’ types! Watching movies for me is just not a medium of entertainment, rather it’s a major source of information, which always offers me some intellectual take away. Even a badly made movie teaches us ‘to learn from other’s mistakes’!

Surround by celluloid! Sheer Bliss!

The 3 days I spent at Panjim Inox and Kala Academy premise were full of back to back world cinema watching and getting into a trance like mood where one eats, thinks, discusses films! I could manage to see 10 films in 3 days and my favourite from the viewed list being ‘Murder on the Oriental Express’ (English), ‘Racer & the Jailbird’, ‘M’ (French), Poorna (Hindi) & ‘The Second Mother’ (Spanish)

‘The Murder on the Oriental Express’ is based on the classic murder mystery novel written by Agatha Christie. I am always fascinated of films that are based on novels or some other forms of literature. Such genre films are always a compressed version of the original book, but one has to understand that when the medium changes, so will be the tools and limitations of that particular medium. ‘The Murder on the Oriental Express’ is a well-made film in which we get to see popular stars, like Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Jonny Depp, Judi Dench, enacting the characters from Agatha Christie’s novel. The VFX is beautifully done thus creating the ambiance of a train cutting through fog and frost of the mountains. The ‘who-done-it’? built up is well made in the film concluding into revealing the real culprit/s. Here’s the film’s trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq4m3yAoW8E

Film posters at 48th International Film Festival of India, Goa.

‘The Second Mother’ is a light hearted Spanish film featuring the tale of a mother daughter estranged relationship evolving into a strong caring bond. Regina Case plays the resident housekeeper-cum-governess of an elite class family. Her teenage daughter, who use to live with her father, suddenly decides to stay with her mom to pursue her education in the city. After living with her mom, the teenage daughter dislikes the way she is expected to behave like an inferior, just because her mom is employed at the house. The girl breaks all norms and invites trouble from the lady of the house, who is very status conscious. Finally, the dilemma is resolved both by the teenage daughter and her mother and eventually their parallel lives become harmoniously one. Here is the trailer of the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXtkQitLmss

The French film ‘Racer & the Jailbird’ is like a ‘dark cloud’ filled with thrilling action with a beautiful silver lining of romance! The female protagonist is a formula 1 car racer and the speed with which she is shown driving cars must be surely triggering the adrenaline in the audience too. I enjoyed the shot where she is angry on her boyfriend and in that mood rashly speeds on a quite road, which freaks him out. She is aware that her boyfriend is keeping some secrets from her. When she realizes the truth, she has to decide to quit the relationship or stand by her boyfriend to get him out of the mess that he has invited upon him. Here’s the trailer of the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjrYvWSQ5gM  The film ends on a beautiful but lateral note that ‘Love is Immortal’!

Posing with virtual reality 360 degree coverage camera.

The French film titled ‘M’, features a tale of two people living with their inferiority complexes until they find each other. The girl, who is a soft-hearted soul, stutters in her speech and the guy, who is a tough macho soul, is illiterate. Both are embarrassed of their short comings, but after they start dating each other they find strength and support from their partner to fight their insecurities and complexes. The film has been beautifully crafted and conveys the message that love conquers your fears! Here is its trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjrYvWSQ5gM

Finally on the last day of my stay I watched the Hindi film titled ‘Poorna’. It is produced and directed by Rahul Bose and is based on a true-life story of the youngest girl to climb mount Everest. The film is a bio-pic account of Poorna’s struggle to achieve the feat. The film is an inspiring tale of the entire team that was operating to help Poorna achieve the impossible. Here is the trailer of the film  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRoowtgZCeU

The future is here! Posing in the virtual reality gear.

Besides watching films I also visited an exhibition organized at the iffi premise and also met interesting people who shared my passion.  Virtual reality film demonstrations were exhibited at the venue. I enjoyed the 20 mins session allotted to me. The experience of watching a ‘Virtual Reality’ technology based films is just simply amazing. The characters in the film look so real that on a couple of occasion I got scared, doubting if they were real or virtual? I could feel one of the film’s character so near me that I thought he may kiss me instead of the actress in the film!! I predict that in the next 5-7 years ‘Virtual Reality’ films will be trending more than 2D films. Not only will Virtual Reality tools entertain us in form of cinema and games but also it will help in treating psychological issues related to phobias and depression in times to come. Virtual reality based software programs that precisely inculcate the process of ‘systematic desensitization’ will open new doors to heal people regarding their psychological issues.

With budding and promising writer Akshata Tilwankar.

Before I faded out of the iffi scene I met an energetic & budding Mumbai-Pune based writer named ‘Akshata Tilwankar’. I realized that we both like films and cricket! Akshata is pursuing to be a Media professional and currently is doing her internship with a Goa based NGO named ‘Bookworm Trust Goa’. The registered trust aims to promote book reading to young children in schools and to be resourceful in providing access to books to economically weak children of society. More of the trust at this link: http://www.bookwormgoa.in/ After reading Akshata’s writings on the sport of Cricket I was impressed with her reporting style, where she has incorporated all social media forums in her article and thereby has offered a bouquet of information for the reader to savour. I think the modern reader would be interested in reading novel ways of content presentation, like Akshata has put forth. She surely is a promising writer to look forward to follow. Here is a link to her writings on cricket: http://cricfit.com/author/akshata-tilwankar/

Soon after I bid good bye to the 48th International Film Festival of India, I embarked on a different mission and that was to travel and explore the interiors of Goa. Car driving on the roads of Goa has always been a delight for me. The Part II of this article will cover my travel adventures in Goa. Signing off for now in midst of a huge hangover of time well spent watching films and travelling the beautiful locations in mesmerising Goa!

Photo credit: Shraddha. C. Sankulkar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos & Caption:

At Kala Academy, Panjim, Goa

Surround by celluloid! Sheer Bliss!

Film posters at 48th International Film Festival of India, Goa.

The future is hear! Posing in the virtual reality gear.

Posing with virtual reality 360 degree coverage camera.

With budding and promising writer Akshata Tilwankar.

 

 

About Shraddha. C. Sankulkar

Writing has always been a passion for Shraddha. She writes poems, lyrics, fiction, non-fiction & documentary film scripts. A consulting Psychologist and lecturer of Psychology by profession, Shraddha sees herself blooming into a creative writer and wishes to present her work world-wide. She manages her own website: www.mindmatterz.net - and writes content for it herself. The website is based on the principles of Positive Psychology and aims to promote the importance of mental health & well-being. Besides possessing a post-graduate degree in Psychology, she has earned yet another post-graduate degree in History from University of Mumbai. Travelling and photography are two hobbies that she is fond of. Having visited the U.S and U.K so far, she dreams to travel to different international destinations and thereby experience the culture and history of places that she visits. She is born and brought up in Mumbai, India, where she is currently residing. Email Shraddha