Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday disclosed that ‘Sholay’ was his all-time favourite film and that ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye’, the K. Balachander movie starring Kamal Haasan, was among the best to be shot in his state. Soon after delivering his speech at the inaugural ceremony of the 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) on Saturday, November 20, Sawant engaged in a rapid-fire question-answer session with the show’s host, Bollywood producer-director Karan Johar, much to the delight of the audience.
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When asked about the association between Goa and IFFI, the Chief Minister said film stars and everybody else were waiting for the festival to open in Goa. The state, Sawant added, had been hosting the festival for the past 17 years, but this year it was special because of the efforts of Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur.
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What was it about this IFFI that excited him the most? The Chief Minister replied by saying that after the Covid-19 pandemic, this was the first event in which 75 film stars were participating.
“I think in the next nine days there will more film stars coming to Goa than we have seen in a long time,” he said.
Karan asked the Chief Minister to list the three things he liked most about Goa. Sawant replied: “I like the whole of Goa. But then, first, I like the communal harmony here. The second thing I like about Goa is the high literacy rate and the third is the combination of the sun, sand and sea.”
In the course of the conversation, Karan pointed out that Rohit Shetty (most recently in the news for ‘Sooryavanshi’) shot every film of his in Goa because he considers the state to be a lucky place for him. “He truly has cemented Goa in the memory of cinema-goers across the nation and world,” Karan added in praise of Shetty and his blockbuster films.