International Council for Film Television and Audiovisual Communication (ICFT) is involved in major film festivals all over the world but Goa is the master-piece of all Film Festivals, said Georges Dupont, ICFT DG and jury member of the ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal at IFFI.
ICFT is trying hard to get into festivals like Cannes in order to get space for young film-makers he said while addressing the media along with Eric Falt, Director of UNESCO and Regional Representative for India and neighbouring countries on the sidelines of the 49th International Film Festival of India in Goa.
Elaborating on the process of selection, Dupont said that criteria for selecting films to the ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal Section are difficult because they have to meet UNESCO’s themes of peace, unity and international co-operation, and movies come from different origins and cultures. “Film critics of international repute are involved in the selection process. Movies are shortlisted in India and taken to Paris for jury to watch. Then they are distributed to all the members via internet. The members do their homework as per their convenience and discuss their notes to arrive at a decision. The criteria for selection of movies for the Medal this year have been broadened. This year Silver Prize will be given as we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi”, he said.
Discussing the future prospects of films and film-making, Dupont said ICFT is trying to get youth involved in these festivals as they are the future of cinema. UNESCO is also educating youth about media in the wake of issues like fake news.
Eric Falt said UNESCO supports culture in all its forms and there is a long-standing love affair between cinema and the international organisation. “UNESCO is involved in many cultural programmes in India. The ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal eschews the value of Peace, Unity and International Co-operation. We are making efforts to prepare for the 50th anniversary of the festival next year and to bring ICFT and UNESCO closer”, he said.
Replying to a question, Eric Falt said that India has the most vibrant film industry than anywhere in the world. It makes UNESCO happy and proud to be associated with IFFI. Underlining the importance of dialogue in promoting peace, unity and international co-operation, Falt said UNESCO is promoting discourse between international organisations and the film industry to address various social and cultural issues.