Some of the most recognisable features of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) are the stalls outside its main venue, the Maquinez Palace Theatre.
The stalls were all put up by the Goa College of Fine Arts and they are manned by students from all four academic years of its bachelor’s programme. A miscellaneous collection of things make up the stall. There is anything from keychains to murals to expensive art installations here.
The stalls are assignments for students with the learning output being ‘How does one engage one’s art in trade?’ “The work at IFFI goes into the final mark list,” says Luke Louis, a fourth-year student at the festival. He says that all students are generally graded the same for this assignment, provided they put in a certain amount of hours and effort because the teachers can’t be around all the time.
The theme the students try to stick to in their works is films. Some students try to bring elements of Goa to their art works.
Installations such as the elaborate and well-done Monsters Inc walk-through stall cost Rs 80,000 to make, for which the necessary funds were provided to them.
IFFI also pays students Rs 1,000 a day for clocking in a certain number of hours at the stall.
But some students are luckier than others. While those in charge of installations only man the stall, others get to sell their artwork. These include Mosaics, style paintings, wall decorations, wall paintings, keychains, pendants, earrings and magnets.
But the real money is in portraiture. Students like Luke charge between Rs 200 and Rs 2,500 to draw portraits for people, depending on the size of the portrait, the material used to sketch and how many people the customer wants in the picture.
“Last year, a student painted sold a portrait for Rs 8,500,” he says.