DEU BOREM KORUM
The Peacock squawks for the very last time at the 50th anniversary edition of the International Film Festival of India, and we want to express our gratitude for everyone who has listened so closely for the past nine days. Over the past 48 hours in particular, a steady stream of avid readers has come to visit our once-a-year newsroom at the Maquinez Palace, each one looking to complete her or his collection of daily editions. This gives us tremendous satisfaction. Our small, idealistic, mostly millennial team hustles all festival long to put together and produce a keeper, so it’s profoundly meaningful that many of you endorse our efforts. Thank you, dear readers!
Over the past 15 years that Asia’s oldest film festival has been in Goa, we have wound up seeing it all, from sublime to ridiculous to much else besides. This year’s edition has been by far the least controversial, and relatively hassle-free. For keeping the drama strictly onscreen, and implementing several crucial data-driven measures that have paid off in an immeasurably smoother festival process, we owe a great deal to the CEO of the Entertainment Society of Goa, the unflappable Amit Satija. Sincere congratulations to him for an excellent first IFFI edition under his charge.
Why do so many hundreds of festival delegates insist on carefully collecting, saving and toting home copies of The Peacock? One huge reason is certainly its original illustrations, created afresh each day by the fabulous Oriana Fernandez as well as Fabian Gonsalves. That look and feel has been immensely enhanced by the stunning portrait photography of Assavri Kulkarni – easily one of the best anywhere in the world – and Sid Lall. Salute, visual team, you have done an amazing job, so ably presented by the outstanding Amol Kamat.
News and views are daily bread for any daily publication like ours, but substance and signature style comes from columnists. In this regard, we had two of the very best in our pages this year, the internationally-acclaimed, Padma Shri-award-winning fashion designer Wendell Rodricks (with his delightful musings about Celluloid Couture) and the rising star of academia (he’s on the faculty of the College of William and Mary in the USA) Professor
R. Benedito Ferrão. More irregular, but no less impressive was Dr. Rachana Patni, whose ‘The Third Eye’ brought an entirely unique perspective to the newspaper, along with Samira Sheth, with her depth of knowledge of art and art history. Thank you all!
The nitty-gritty of festival reporting requires non-stop hustle, and consistently good judgement. In this regard, there’s no besting our editorial team led by my truly outstanding deputy editors: Kinjal Sethia, Aakash Chhabra and Impana Kulkarni. This nucleus of grit and savvy led from the front throughout, ably supported by Andrew Pereira, Sagar Mahindra, Karishma D’Mello and Paola Ann de Sequeira. Special mention must be made of Urvashi Bahuguna, whose extraordinary versatility was perhaps best showcased by the daily poem she produced on deadline, each one a lovely moment of pause in our deluge of daily content.
For five years in a row, The Peacock has featured gorgeous exclusive cover paintings by a great Goan artist of our times. Each year up to now has struck us as unbeatable in succession: Kedar Dhondu, Amruta Patil, Siddharth Gosavi and Pradeep Naik. But this year, Sonia Rodrigues Sabharwal’s glowing, luscious paintings are the first ones to prompt us to clear the cover altogether of other text and graphics, because these artworks are so irresistible all by themselves, instant classics that everyone wants. In short order, you will be able to access all of them for high-resolution download from iffigoa.org, to frame and display as you wish.
Near the end of their iressitibly cheesy run of international stardom, the glitter-drenched pop superstars Abba sang “thank you for the music.” That line resonates at The Perch today, as the end of this incredible IFFI banquet of cinema comes to its last course. What an astonishing range of voices and perspectives we’ve come across. What an irrepressible lot are the film-makers of the world, with their follies and fanaticism, and refusal to accept no for an answer. The Peacock is unshakeably on your side, today and forever. Thank you for the movies!
Read more from The Peacock: Issue 9 (2019) here: