Chota Cinema Centre - a window for Goan filmmakers

December 1st, 2011 - 1:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Dec 1 (IANS) The 42nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here is not just about international cinema as the spotlight is also on local filmmakers who can showcase their talent in the Chota Cinema Centre and even win awards for their creativity.

The only criterion is the director or producer should be a Goan.

Zain Lakhani, the business development and operation head of Mandovi Entertainment Group, who is spearheading the programme, says, “This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is given to Goan filmmakers to step forward and show their talent.”

The third edition of Chota Cinema Centre showcases 49 films this year. IFFI is being held from Nov 23 to Dec 3.

Director Milind Kuri’s “Pensou”, a 15-minute fictional animation film about Gandhi’s pencil, and Jayavanti Loundo’s “Experiencing Hope”, a five-minute film in a biographical style about recycling paper, are a class apart.

The other films worth a mention are Vardhan Dhaimodkar’s “Mhaka Bai Zai”, Ashish Azgaokar’s “How I Got Led”, Jackie Gomes’ 30-minute film “Aids”, Mathew Arouja’s “Wanted Dead or Alive”, Sandeep Ambe’s “108″ and Lino Dourado’s “Ho Proxn Suttavo Korat”.

The Chota Cinema Centre is promoted by Janardhan S. Bhandari of Mandovi Entertainment Group, ESG (Entertainment Society of Goa) and IFFI. Set up in 2009, the first year saw 150 films showcased by Goan filmmakers, the following year there were 60 films and this year the number has fallen to 49 films.

Zain explains, “The numbers have fallen drastically because we are strict about the criterion for the director/producer being Goan. Probably next year we might remove the Goan producer criterion and hope the number improves.”

Sophie Fernandes from St. Estevam Goa, who is here for the first time, is busy gathering details as she is certain she will participate next year.

“This is a wonderful platform for us Goans and I am going to make the most of it as I am a budding filmmaker,” she gushes.

The organisers have divided the entries into four categories depending on the length of the film - this year 15 films are being shown in the five minutes slot, 11 in 15 minutes, nine in the less than 30 minutes category and 14 films in the more than 30 minutes category.

The three best entries in all the four categories will be awarded.

Plus there are prizes for the best actor, actress, editor and director. The prize money for the best film ranges from Rs.10,000 to Rs.30,000. The best director, editor, actor and actress would get Rs.5,000 each.

All the prizes are accompanied by a trophy and certificate.

(Troy Ribeiro can be contacted at

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