The on-going 48th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa has drawn cinephiles in large numbers not only from India but also from overseas this year. Not that large numbers are new to Goa, the tiny former Portuguese colony which has its own charm to woo visitors to its pristine, sunny and sandy shores. Goa just beckons you. Films and Goa is yet another potent combination.
To be sure, Goa has always been a hot destination for film fans and film producers. Goa’s connection with films goes back a long way. Whether it is the scenery in movies like Ek Duje Ke Liye or the forts that became iconic after Dil Chahta Hai or even the majestic Dudhsagar falls that formed the backdrop for a vital scene in the blockbuster Chennai Express, Goa has always been treasured by filmmakers.
The runaway hit Aashiqui 2 highlighted the gorgeous Panjim Church, Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani highlighted some more unknown locations. Hits like Singham Returns were shot in Aldona, while Finding Fanny, which did not feature a single shot of the beach, captured the beauty of the hinterlands of Goa.
It is not just the Indian film industry that is smitten by Goa, Hollywood too has not escaped the charms of this smallest Indian state. The second of the Bourne series, The Bourne Supremacy was shot in a number of locations, one of them being the picturesque beach of Goa.
The iconic silver screen star Amitabh Bachchan, whose debut film Saat Hindustani was shot in Goa, has also shot several other films in Goa, one of them being Bhootnath developing a close and warm relationship with this state. One of Shah Rukh Khan’s best performances in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa shot the Holy Spirit Church in Margao, South Goa. His recent hit Dear Zindagi also captures the best of Goa’s heritage and architecture.
Back at IFFI, film buffs are having a great time watching not only a wide range of new releases, but also classics. A section is dedicated to James Bond, which will showcase Bond movies from 1960 to 2012. The restored classics of Godard and Bunuel are also worth mentioning.
— Michael Gonsalves