Parrikar wanted IFFI to be like Cannes: INOX director

DH Photo: Pushkar V

Sidharth Jain, director of the INOX group, was at the International Film Festival of India on the day of the festival’s inauguration. DH caught up with him when he was inspecting the preparations for the movie screenings. Here is the interview:

Can you tell me about INOX’s association with IFFI?

We have been associated with IFFI for fifteen years, From its inception in Goa in 2004, when the late chief minister Manohar Parrikar envisioned the festival and wanted to take it to the next level.

Did you know him personally?

No, I have only known him professionally. His vision was: how do you put Goa on the global map? It always was, but maybe to expand that to something more than just a place to have a vacation. To expand Goa’s presence on the world map for different purposes. IFFI did something, and he wanted to be the best at it. He thought, if it is a film festival, it must become Cannes at some point.

How has the 15-year-long association helped INOX?

For us, it is our duty to help cultivate filmmakers. You see, these independent filmmakers don’t get an opportunity to showcase their films. There is such demand for our screen from mainstream cinema. And these festivals are meant for core movielovers. Eventually, these people will go on to make more content, and with more content, we can make more cinemas. And that’s how we expanded to 600 movies currently.

Has the arrival of Netflix and Amazon changed things?

How often do you get to watch a film and discuss it with the filmmaker or ask the person what was the thought behind writing that story? This is a priceless platform.

What is the gain for INOX from this collaboration?

These are investments that we make for the long-run. As we invest in future filmmakers, as we have done for 15 years, it eventually pays dividends. It leads from better filmmaking to better audiences. This is an essential part of our business. Like some other industries have research and development, we have an investment in future budding entrepreneurs and filmmakers.

So, there is no profit at all?

No.

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