Bringing movies to film fests more challenging now: Roger Garcia

Mumbai, Oct 21 (IANS) With over three decades of experience in the film industry as a producer, film critic as well as festival curator Roger Garcia feels that bringing movies to film festivals has become tougher than before.

Hong Kong-born and London-raised Garcia has been the executive director of Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) since 2010. He has also been associated with several film festivals as curator and juror in Asia, America and Europe.

"I have been in the business for a long time and the biggest change is getting films, which has become much more complicated. In 1979, I wanted to show 'The Chess Player' by Satyajit Ray at the Hong Kong Film Festival. I got in touch with the film's producer and he instantly agreed. My first contact with Indian cinema was through Ray who came over to the festival," Garcia told IANS in an interview.

"Today, to do something like that is virtually impossible. Because today I'd have to talk to the distributor, sales agent, and they would figure out whether they need to show their film at a certain film festival. They usually prefer Cannes or Berlin festival because they believe they can get good mileage out of it," he added.

Even if a filmmaker agrees to bring his film to a certain film festival, he said that there are several challenges.

"I would have to work on a package to bring the filmmaker along with a few people who come with him. With some filmmakers it's fine because we known them personally, but overall getting films to show in festivals has become extremely difficult," added Garcia, who is one of the jury members of the India Gold section at the ongoing Mumbai Film Festival.

He feels that too many film festivals have spoiled the scene.

"To get films to fests has become complicated because there are several film festivals across the world and many films are handled by sales agents and distributors, who understandably look at these as publicity vehicles. Most major film fests such as Cannes and Venice were started for publicity purposes," he added.

The other reason is most film festivals want world or international premieres of a certain movie.

"Many of the festivals try to find world premieres and therefore it's quite a struggle for films. The festival calendar is always crowded because it's mostly organized during spring or autumn. Nobody wants to screen the same films, but it's difficult because there are not too many good films," said Garcia.

He adds that a festival can add value only when it screens good films instead of lining up hundreds of movies.

"If you're putting together a film festival, you should really like the films you're showing. But it doesn't happen all the time because we at HKIFF also show several films. Some we show because we think our audiences will like it and others are films we are passionate about," he said.

"Sadly, most festivals today have become publicity stunt for Hollywood stars. The passion for movies is lost in that kind of crowd," added Garcia, who personally is inspired by New York Film Festival (NYFF).

"I have been following NYFF for many years now, although I haven't attended it. It is run by a guy called Richard Roud, who would screen only 20 best films to audiences through the fest. It was a highly curated personal vision and I think it was really good," added Garcia, who has successfully produced films such as "The Big Hit" and "Manila Skies".

(Haricharan Pudipeddi can be contacted at )

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

The former England batsman will have to lead the franchise as he is out of the match against Bangalore with a finger injury. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

Kiwi all-rounder wants to utilise the India leg to explore the country’s tourist attractions. More »

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Says his mother made him change his mind. More »