India Postpones Goa Film Festival to January

The 51st Edition of the International Film Festival of India, scheduled to be held at Goa from Nov. 20-28, 2020, has been postponed to Jan. 16-24, 2021.

India’s minister of information & broadcasting Prakash Javadekar discussed the matter with Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant. Together they arrived at the postponement decision.

Like many festivals around the world these days, the festival will take place as a hybrid combining in person and virtual.

“All COVID related protocols will be strictly enforced as per the festivals convened recently in the International Film Festival circuit,” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said in a statement.

It was earlier announced that the annual Film Bazaar, South Asia’s leading co-production and project market and works in progress showcase that is held concurrently with the film festival, would go fully online this year between Nov. 20-24. Organized by India’s National Film Development Corporation, the event sees more than 200 films from across South Asia pitched to various sales agents, buyers, film festival programmers and financiers from all over the world.

Several projects have benefited from incubation at the Bazaar, notably Ritesh Batra’s “The Lunchbox,” starring the late Irrfan Khan. Filmmaker Pushpendra Singh found the producer for his first project “Lajwanti” at the Bazaar’s co-production market and his latest film “The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs” that premiered at Berlin this year, won the work in progress award there in 2019. The film will get a free theatrical release from the PVR group when Indian cinemas reopen.

Being selected for the Bazaar’s viewing room also directly benefits South Asian projects. From example, Kirill Razlogov, program director of the Moscow International Film Festival, watched Don Palathara’s “1956, Central Travancore” there in 2019 and selected the film for its world premiere at the festival in October.

The state of Goa has had 29,343 coronavirus cases so far, with 368 deaths. Sawant himself tested positive earlier this month.

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