SAARC film festival ends amidst empty seats
Panaji, Sep 21 (IANS) The South Asian Film Festival (SAFF) ended Monday, amidst empty seats and organisational issues plaguing the event.
The four-day long festival in which 50 films from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were screened, ended with the screening of 'Priotomeshu', a Bangladeshi film directed by Morshedul Islam.
The festival, which was co-sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) along with the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), was marked by extremely poor attendance and below par organisation by the hosts.
Justifying the lack of response, SAFF secretary general Rahul Barua said: 'Indian cinema is seen in almost all households of South Asia. But we don't show their cinema in our theatres. Festivals like this will help the cinema to get a platform'.
A delegation from Bhutan had expressed dissatisfaction about the lack of audiences at the festival.
'I am little unhappy with the response. The auditoriums are empty despite the movies being shown free of cost,' a Bhutanese director, Gyaltsen, who was a part of the delegation said during an interaction on the penultimate day.
The focus country at the SAFF this time round was Afghanistan with five movies from the country being screened.